A love for reading is a vital behavior to develop in children as it opens up a plethora of life-long benefits. In the evolving world of digital media with multi-media content such as audio, videos, photos, and animations, occupying a kid’s attention, reading beyond school sometimes takes a backseat. Instilling a love for reading amongst children assumes increasing significance in such circumstances.
Kids’ Reading Could Be Curricular and Extra-Curricular
While most kids are forced to read because of their academic requirements, promoting the habit of reading as a hobby is essential. Instilling a love for reading in kids offers a multitude of benefits:
A habit of reading improves the language and vocabulary skills of kids
Children who read regularly have a more strong command of the language. This improves their ability to communicate effectively and comprehend. This habit can be a vital catalyst for children’s long-term development and growth if developed right from preschool days. Read more about the best ways to help your child to learn English.
Reading helps in the cognitive development of preschool kids
Reading activates kids’ learning faculties, such as concentration and focus, especially among preschool kids. This helps develop cognitive skills such as memory, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
Reading fosters imagination and creativity
Reading allows preschool kids to explore a new world and new ideas, enhancing their creativity and imagination.
Reading improves academic performance
Children who read regularly tend to perform better in school because of enhanced learning abilities.
Reading promotes a love of learning
Children who enjoy reading and see its value are more likely to become lifelong learners and have a positive attitude toward learning and education.
With the distractions of today’s world in terms of the internet, gaming, etc., it could be challenging to inculcate the habit of reading among kids.
Below are 10 Tips to Help Develop a Habit of Reading in Preschool Kids
1. Set aside dedicated reading time each day
To develop kids’ reading habits, marking out a routine where they must read is necessary. This will help in the formation of the habit in the long term. Just before bedtime is usually the best time of the day to set aside for reading. It calms the mind and prepares preschool kids for sound sleep.
2. Make it a fun and enjoyable activity
Kids’ reading should be a routine but fun and enjoyable activity. Fun and enjoyment quotient can be invoked by exploring various genres, engaging with the kid while the kid’s reading, asking questions, and helping them think and imagine.
3. Discuss what your child is reading and ask open-ended questions
When parents take an interest in what their kids are reading, it reinforces the importance of reading. Asking them to summarise what they read or asking open-ended questions about what the kids read will make them think, analyze, synthesize and communicate. Development of these cognitive skills can be vital to the child’s holistic development.
4. Make connections between the books your child is reading and their life experiences
Sometimes children might question the entire purpose of this activity of reading. Parents need to help kids make connections between their reading and real life. Only when kids can relate what they are reading to specific real-life experiences will the true worth of the reading habit evolve.
5. Make sure your child has access to a variety of age-appropriate books
If you want to see your kids’ reading, you need to provide access to a variety of good-quality books appropriate to their age. Kids’ reading a variety of books will help them explore, and in due course of time, they will start inclining towards a genre of their choice. Substandard books might just put them off the reading habit. Hence, starting them off with well-acclaimed quality books appropriate for their age and interests is essential. Getting them a digital library subscription or a physical library card could be a good start in this direction.
6. Encourage your child to read a variety of genres and formats
Kids’ reading a variety of genres and formats makes it fun and exciting. Let them explore different forms such as books (paper or e-books), comics, and magazines. Exploring diverse designs eliminates possible fatigue and makes reading more fun and exciting. The idea is to see kids reading more often, irrespective of the format.
7. Let your child choose what they want to read
Do not force a specific genre onto your kid’s reading during the early stages. Let them explore various genres and pick what they want to read. Parents should only give them access to age-appropriate reading content and leave the rest to the kids to explore and choose. Read more about what kids learn in preschool.
8. Read to your child, even as they get older
Many parents like reading to their children. It could be an effective way to instill a love for reading among young children. When reading becomes a part of the ritual of parental bonding, parental love also often rubs off on the love for reading. Usually, this ritual carries on even when children grow up. Reading to your child enhances imagination and improves memory, focus, and concentration – factors contributing to your child’s reading abilities.
9. Create a cozy and comfortable reading space
Kids’ reading demands a ritual and thus merits a dedicated reading space. The space should be cozy, comfortable, well-lit, and away from possible distractions. Uncomfortable seating and poor lighting can lead to undesirable outcomes and affect the health and well-being of the child.
10. Lead by example and let your child see you reading for pleasure
Most children imitate their parents in terms of their habits and mannerisms. This holds good for the reading habit as well. It will be challenging to convince a child to read regularly when they don’t see their parents read themselves. Show them the love and fun of reading by leading by example. Let the children see you derive pleasure from reading, which will be their biggest motivation to take up reading as a habit.
A healthy reading ritual amongst friends and family members can bring immense joy and learning to our lives. Technology innovations have provided us with vast options, such as e-books, audiobooks, etc., to pursue our love for reading. We need to start.