As the sage quote by Mary Ellen Chase says "There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.".
It can be gratifying and enjoyable as adults to show younger generations the importance and pleasure of reading.
There is limitless fun and imagination that a book can bring into the lives of children; books can teach, soothe or even inspire!
So, how can we make reading more fun for our kids?
Here are five ideas for you to try out!
Introduce reading-out-loud as a family activity. Reading-out-loud is a great way to share stories and make the experience fun for the whole family. The reader can animate and portray the different characters of the story through their voices, making story-time more amusing for everyone!
“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.”
TIP: Why not give everybody a turn at reading a line of the book, or even describing a picture in the book?
2. Create a Family Book Club
Creating a family book club can be a great way to learn about the different types of books everyone in the family enjoys.
Each week ask a family member to choose an appropriate book for everyone to read. If there are multiple age groups, then ask each person to select and read their own book and each week schedule time to tell the rest of the family about the book they are reading.
“Book clubs are totally dope - like English class if you were allowed to read only books that you actually like and snack while discussing them.”
TIP: Encouraging children to share their views on books could also boost their confidence and this is also good practice for their forming of opinions for those future essays they might have to write at school.
Some kids have a difficult time focusing on the written word, so why not try listening to audiobooks with them sometimes? There is a fantastic array of audiobooks now available for children's books. You can find everything from children's classic novels such as The Famous Five by Enid Blyton to the most up to date children books from authors such as David Walliams etc. Adults can often enjoy listening to these stories as much as the child.
“When you read a book, the story definitely happens inside your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy knit cap pulled down over your eyes.”
TIP: Audiobooks can be paired with the physical book so the child can follow the text along with the audiobook, and this simple combination can work wonders! It could also be the first step to independent reading if your child can recognise letters and the sounds they present.
Although nothing beats the smell of a new book, going paperless can have its advantages too at certain times. There are so many apps available for children these days which can make the introduction of e-books more accessible and fun for children.
"Life without a Kindle is like life without a library nearby."
— Franz S. McLaren
TIP: Encourage screen time for your children to include some e-book time. Double win!
5. Competitions and Reward Systems
Reading Competitions and Reward Systems can be encouraging and motivating for young readers. Local libraries often run reading programmes and challenges for children such as the Summer Stars programme by Libraries Ireland.
"The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go. "
– Dr. Seuss
TIP: Why not you create your own family and friend reading challenges and reward with some art supplies, a book or even a trip to the library.