How to Make Reading Fun and Engaging For Your Child
There’s no doubting the value of reading. Many successful entrepreneurs including Bill Gates credit it as a key reason for their success. Gates said, “Every book teaches me something new or helps me see things differently. Reading fuels a sense of curiosity about the world, which I think helped drive me forward in my career.” He’s not alone either as other entrepreneurs have made reading a regular habit.
What makes reading so valuable? It provides mental stimulation and exposure to new viewpoints. Helping your child establish a reading habit then is one of the greatest gifts you could give. A report from the Reading Agency found that reading for enjoyment boosts cognitive development and is a more important factor in life outcomes than socioeconomic background.
Some children are passionate about reading but for others it just doesn’t click. It’s seen as a chore and not an enjoyable activity. If this describes your child’s attitude towards reading, here’s how you can make this activity fun.
Choose the Right Difficulty Level
Every parent would want their child to read works from celebrated authors like Charles Dickens or Ernest Hemingway. But it can be discouraging for your child to read books that are beyond his level. Make sure to choose materials that are appropriate for his reading level.
Use the “5 Finger Test” to select appropriate books. Open a book and have your child start reading. Then ask him to hold up one finger for each word he’s unsure of. If your child holds up 0 fingers, the book may be too easy. Ideally you want to find a book that is “just right” or between one to five fingers. Any more than that and the book is likely too difficult.
Let Your Child Choose
The beauty about reading is there’s a whole genre of books from science fiction to mystery and romance. Your child may not enjoy particular books like those on online marketing but that doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t like reading. It just means he hasn’t found the right subject he finds interesting.
Support your child in allowing him to choose his own reading materials. Take your child to the bookstore and browse through the different sections. A much cheaper option is getting a card at the local library if there’s one nearby. It’ll be much easier to find appropriate materials once you have a better idea of where your child’s interests lie.
Allowing children to choose helps them build confidence and feel more in control of what they do – Both valuable traits that are important later in life. Research has shown that children feel more committed to activities they have personally chosen.
Create the Perfect Reading Area
An important step in encouraging your child to read is to give him a comfortable place to do so. Spots that are too loud can be distracting and even detract from quality reading time. The little nooks and crannies in your house are the perfect reading spots as they’re comfortable and cozy. You can even make this a fun activity by decorating the space together to make it more personal.
Reading is a valuable skill but it’s also important to be patient with your child. Reading doesn’t have to mean picking up a book either. Even magazines and graphic novels are great reading materials that can still help your child practice and develops his reading skills.