Children often love to read without motivation but sometimes they need some encourgement. For example, statistics have shown that previously, only 58% of children enjoy to read and only 30.8% read daily (based on 49,049 children and young people aged eight to 18). I believe what we do to stimulate reading enjoyment in Munchkin will hopefully make him one of those 50%, be it making it fun, accessible or part of routine.
Make books visible and accessible
How many times do you want or need to do something but can’t be bothered because the thing you need is in a different room or upstairs? Its the same with reading. Keep books accessible and visible. Put them in their bedroom, and downstairs in their play room or share the bottom shelf of the bookcase so they are always on hand.
Once, we were trying to be more tidy and conseuqently, Munchkins books became less visible. We instantly noticed a dramatic decline in the amount he actively chose to read. We quickly realised that, as he would not see books he would therefore not be enticed to read them.
Make it routine
The easiest way to start reading with young children is to make it part of the routine. We have always let Munchkin choose two books before bed and offer them whenever he wants to do change activity. Sometimes one book leads two and then to a whole stack of them.
Incite their imagination
Incite their imagination by expanding on the story. Try asking ‘what could happen next?’ or ‘what noise would that animal make?’ or ‘what would your super power be? We find you can talk around the book for much longer than just simply reading it, and it adds much more value and learning to the story. I find it makes it much more interesting too, especially if its one of their favourites they have asked you to read on repeat.
Similarly, maintain your enthusiasm, no matter how many times you have read a certain book. Reading to children should always be approached with enthusiasm and emphasis, and this should be the case whether its the first read or the 50th.
Don’t restrict reading to books.
Reading shouldn’t just be with books. Engage in reading whenever the moment arises. For example, Munchkin likes to sound out letters on notices and road signs, when we walk, and we tell him what they say. Real life learning on the go at its best.
Let them read to you. Even before they can.
I got this little nugget from Munchkin himself. Sometimes he wants to take the driving seat and read to us, ‘Daddy read this one, (Munchkin) read this one’. Its a great way to see a book through his eyes and allows us to incite his imagination by asking around what he picks up, next time. It’s honestly surprising how much of a story Munchkin can relay at just two years 4 months old.
Get books related to their interests
Seems an obvious one, as no one likes to read things that do not interest them, but its essential advice. If they like peppa pig, she has books, if they love the ocean, you can get plenty about the sea, if they like being eco-friendly there’s books for that too and of course, Duggee has them (woof woof!).
It would be no surprise to you that Munchkin loves a bit of nature if you saw his book collection with ‘woods’, ‘under the sea’ and nature crossovers like ‘flamingo play’s bingo’.
Incorporate books into play
Consider setting up an activity around a book theme. For example, set up a nature play zone around ‘That’s not my hedgehog’, or get a book on trains and get the tracks out. The options are endless.
Talk around the written words
While its lovely to read the book word for word, it can stimulate their imaginations by adding extra details. Put simply, just say what you see.
Thanks for reading, enjoy reading more books!
Do you have any tips to encourage reading in your children?
Daddy and Munchkin