5 CREATIVE WAYS TO PUT THE FUN BACK INTO READING
Australian Mum has invited Ryan Spencer (Dymocks Literacy Expert) to offer advice on encouraging your children to read. We hope you find this advice helpful and a valuable resource for home reading.
Are you struggling to encourage your kids to read for pleasure?
When there are so many digital devices and platforms vying for your children’s attention, reading can often take a backseat.
However, it’s not impossible to reignite a passion and enthusiasm for books. The goal is to make reading an enjoyable activity – something kids are happy to come back to the next day.
Here are 5 creative ways to put the fun back into reading.
- Turn it into Quality Family Bonding Time
Reading to or with your kids is a great way to spend some quality time together, and for parents to role-model effective reading behaviours. Make it a set family routine and roll out screen-free nights where the whole family gets together to read. Add an element of fun into the experience by role playing the storyline with funny character voices. On the weekends, make it a habit of popping by the library or local bookstore to pick up some new books to add to the family session.
- Marry Books with the Big Screen
Engage reluctant readers by encouraging children to read books based on popular film and television programs. This is a great way to extend their interests beyond watching the screen alone. After reading, discuss how the story varies, how they feel about the on-screen characters versus those in the books and which one they prefer. Some exciting film adaptations have come out in 2016 based on popular children’s books including The BFG, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (to be released mid-late November). Incentivise your kids to read it before they see it!
- Switch Up the Location
Did you know that the physical environment plays a huge part in how reading is perceived and enjoyed? For example, reading sessions aren’t always productive when done at the homework table or where there’s a lot of background noise. Always opt for places that feel warm, safe and comfortable. This could be in the bedroom, in the garden or even at the park. Switch up the reading space every week to keep things exciting and allow your child to have the final say.
- Set a Challenge
Children need to be engaged in their reading material in order to practise reading. Resist the urge to restrict book choice and grant your children full freedom. Challenge them to read something different every week as an experiment, whether it’s graphic novels, picture books, fiction or even casual literature like magazines, newspapers and advertising material. Some children can pore over a toy catalogue for hours, practicing their reading while also developing their pragmatic skills (understanding the ways in which context contributes to meaning).
- Include Books in the Everyday Life
Whether it’s a birthday or Christmas, include books as a gift offering and encourage friends and family to do the same. If your child is heading to a friend’s birthday party, suggest buying books as a present. Alternatively, propose holding a monthly book club at home and get your children to invite their friends over for a fun reading session. The idea is to incorporate reading into the everyday life and make it fun and exciting so that you can overturn the notion that books are boring.
This article is a non-sponsored collaboration. Australian Mum would love to offer you more expert advice on helping our kids with literacy, please share if these topics are important to you. We will invite Ryan back soon to talk some more.