Reading skills are vital. We all know that success in school and beyond will require good reading comprehension and faster readers have an advantage. As adults we also aware of the fun reading for pleasure can provide throughout our lives. Unfortunately, it can be more difficult than ever to interest kids in practising reading. In today’s world, reading has to complete with the more immediate and mesmerising appeal of television programmes, computer games, smartphone apps, streaming videos, and social media. That can make it extremely difficult for parents to help their kids develop the interest in reading that will lead them to building better reading skills.
Films like Peter Rabbit can be a wonderful way to get children interested in reading. Once they fall in love with the characters they see in the movies, or the toys they play with as they replicate what they’ve watched, you can lead them to the related books where they can spend more time exploring those characters and their world. Winnie the Pooh and other classic children’s books are great options but even newer children’s films often will have books or other materials available that describe those characters’ continuing adventures.
For children learning to read, comic books can be an entertaining way for them to read without needing to face an entire page of text. For older kids, comic books and graphic novels may interest them even if books designed for their age groups don’t. There are a number of movies and television shows based on comic books or graphic novels so that can help your child develop an interest in reading the original written materials.
Trying to force children to read rarely works. One way you can help get them interested is to talk about the books you like reading or discuss your favourite books as a child. Your children might have a difficult time imagining you, an ancient adult, ever being a child much less reading early childhood books. Talking about how you used to curl up with a favourite book on a rainy day or imagine yourself as having adventures in a particular book’s land of imagination could give your child more reason to take an interest.
Reading Out Loud
Reading to your children is a great way to spend quality time together and it makes a huge difference in the development of their language skills. This can become a night time ritual you can share together as your child learns to read. Once your kids know how to read, you don’t need to stop reading to them or with them. They can continue to enjoy the experience as you introduce more challenging books as your child matures. Experiencing the excitement of the written word is likely to make your children want to have reading adventures on their own. Do your best to make sure they have reading materials available either by buying books or acquiring them from a local library.
Sometimes the best way to interest children is something is to have them see other children who are interested. Going to a public book reading in a library or other social situation can make the experience seem more exciting. Check with your local library or bookstore to find out when someone will be doing a public reading or you can even volunteer to help. Experiencing reading as something other adults and older children enjoy may have a great impact, even on reluctant readers.