Want your kids to read more books? Here are a few proven ways to help them catch the bookworm bug.
Literacy is one of the most important skills we will ever develop over our lifetimes. Imagine a world where you were not able to read things like warning signs or restaurant menus, or were unable to write a birthday card or letter for a job application. Most small children love books, looking at the pictures and hearing the story, but as they get older they often move away from books and prefer gaming on consoles or kicking a football around at the park. So how do you keep your kids interested in books?
Libraries have changed a lot in recent years and are no longer the stuffy, unwelcoming places that they used to be. Libraries will have a great range of books for children of all ages and are free to join. Take your child regularly and encourage them to take out books on whatever subject interests them. Ask librarians for recommendations and they can point you in the right direction to discover new authors or types of books which your child had not previously considered.
Many parents think that reading only counts if the child is reading a work of fiction or a novel. As long as a child is reading, it doesn’t really matter what they are reading. Non-fiction books are particularly attractive to boys, and they can read about topics they are into, whether that be football, dinosaurs, history or science. There are newspapers printed especially for children, and literally hundreds of internet websites which have material to interest them. Kids especially love the sorts of books which allow them to make decisions between various paths and choose their own endings, and these are available in a number of different themes.
If your child never sees you reading, the chances are that they aren’t going to pick up a book either. Next time you’re at a loose end, pick up a newspaper or a book instead of switching on the television, and encourage your child to sit with you and read too. Having plenty of books around the house makes reading more accessible and the “normal” thing to do when bored. If you struggle with reading and literacy, do something about it by going back to college or attending a special adult literacy course.
Reading and writing are often thought of as two separate issues when instead they are two sides of the same coin. If you have a child who is a reluctant reader, think about encouraging them to start writing their own stories and novels. Buy them a special notebook which reflects their personality or interests, such as a dinosaur themed book for small boys or something from the Santoro Gorjuss range for tween-age girls. Allow them to write whatever captures their imagination, and don’t worry too much about messy handwriting or poor spelling. The idea is to spark an interest in books, reading and fiction, and the rest will develop over time.
This article was contributed by guest blogger and mum of three, Morag Peers. Morag is writing on behalf of Gifts For Tweens, an online store who stock wonderful products from Santoro Gorjuss, designed by a children’s illustrator.