Do you have a reluctant reader? A child that would do anything rather than pick up a book? Read on for 8 ideas to encourage reading.
- Join your local library and visit regularly
As well as stories to suit every taste, the library will also have a range of non-fiction books which might be just what your young reluctant reader needs. My son loved to read books about Star Wars facts.
- Display books at home at a height your child can reach
A simple book shelf is all that is needed, but make sure it can be reached by the smallest member of your family. Being able to help yourself to any book whenever you want is very empowering.
- Make sure they see you reading for pleasure
This one can be quite tricky in that we, as parents, are often so busy we put aside our reading for pleasure. Maybe, instead of rushing around doing never-ending household jobs, take 30 minutes once a week to snuggle up on the sofa with a book. Make sure the TV is turned off. Have your child play nearby so they can see you and they may even be inspired to copy you and pick up a book. Even if they don’t, they’ll learn that reading is a pleasure.
- Always carry a book with you, you never know when you’ll need to fill five minutes
It is so easy to reach for a screen when in a queue, waiting in a restaurant, or watching older siblings. But if you pop a book in your bag before going out, you might find your reluctant reader engaged by that instead. Especially if it is the only distraction available.
- Bring stories to life with other activities, e.g. plasticine modelling
My daughter absolutely loved re-telling stories through play. I’ve lost count of the number of bowls of plasticine porridge we made (along with trees, chairs, beds and bears) so we could tell the Goldilocks story. Always great fun and can lend itself to any story.
- Make it fun by building a reading den together
Gather the old bedsheets, blankets and clothes pegs to build your den indoors or out. Once built, grab a few books and crawl inside for story-time.
- Talk with your children about their books
Ask them open questions so that you can get a conversation going. Instead of “Did you enjoy the book?”, ask “Which was your favourite picture?” and then “Why did you like this one?” I have a newsletter coming out soon with ideas for open questions about my books. Sign up to my newsletter here to receive the list.
- Create some book-based art together
Many authors, including me, have pictures ready to download on their websites. Find some Lum pictures to colour here. Alternatively, just use their creativity to draw their favourite scenes and characters.
If you have any ideas to encourage children to read, please share in the comments.