World Book Day: 5 Easy Ways To Motivate Little Ones To Read

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World Book Day: 5 Easy Ways To Motivate Little Ones To Read

STORY: Priyanka Elhence
23 April 2022
PHOTO: 123RF
PHOTO: 123RF

World Book Day falls on April 23rd and reading can be such a fun activity. Books can make you laugh and smile, transport you to faraway lands, and transform you into wizards, princesses and even dragon-slaying sleuths, making you feel all the excitement and emotions along the way. But what if your child doesn’t like books or reading?

Here’s how you can motivate your little ones to read:

For babies:

1. Read out loud to them every day

You may think reading isn’t important for babies, but think again. Baby books are so important that research shows that even newborns can benefit hearing stories read out loud. You can read anything to a newborn, even a cookbook, because the content doesn’t matter. What does matter is the sound of your voice and the pronunciation of the words. Research also has shown that the number of words an infant is exposed to has a direct impact on their language development and literacy later in life, as babies who are read to learn that reading is fun. Involve all their senses using textured books that are specially designed to help develop your baby’s tactile experience.

For toddlers

1. Model your own love for reading

Children usually learn what they see, so if they see you always surrounded by books, reading often and enjoying the activity, they are likely to naturally pick up the habit themselves too. Reading and being transported to another world should be its own reward and not something that feels like a boring chore. For kids who are weak at reading, start slow with being excited about picture books that have limited text and slowly build up their confidence from there.

2. Choose books your child will enjoy

Respect your child’s reading interests and preferences. If your child likes fairy tales, adventures or magic fantasies, indulge him, because reading is more fun when you spend time with a book that you’re interested in. There are a lot of different genres out there to appeal to every type of reader, so you’re bound to find something he’ll like. Encourage your child to express what they like about their books, and find more books like those. Think outside the box too! If your child is into superheroes, let him read a comic book instead of a regular hard cover. Exposing children to diversity in books helps prepare them for life in a diverse world, so regularly visit your local neighbourhood library to get your child interested in as many different types of books as possible - the idea is to take the pressure off reading and make it fun.

3. Create a cosy reading area

Reading is meant to be relaxing and exciting, so find a quiet corner of the house that you can make cosy using blankets, a soft bean bag chair and so on, so that the space is inviting and your child will want to spend some time there. Start building a small home library that offers books your child likes at eye level, and you’re on your way to having a happy little reader.

4. Read together

You’re never too old to read to your child, but reading together with your little toddler is truly a special time, especially since you’re instilling a lifelong positive association with books. Reading to a toddler is so important as you are helping introduce them to new vocabulary and language structure, numbers, colours, shapes, animals, opposites, manners and all kinds of useful information about how the world works. What’s more, when you read out loud, your toddler connects books with the familiar, warm sound of your voice, and the physical closeness that reading together brings (whether you’re cuddling together in bed or he’s sitting in your lap). Make reading part of your child’s night-time routine, as the habit will help your child wind down before bed and also associate reading with relaxation.

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TAGS: Books , PEOPLE , Family
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