Dr. Seuss said it best “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Reading to our children, and all the conversations it leads to, helps them make better sense of their world and their own lives. Reading sparks the imagination, builds curiosity, inspires creativity, helps develop empathy, and lengthens attention span.
Here are some fun ways to build and enhance children’s reading habit:
They become the story writer and storyteller for the day. They can draw out their stories, write them down, conduct a puppet show on it, or even just narrate it to family and friends. While there’s no actual reading involved here, it is sure to build their affinity towards stories, boost their imagination, and foster creative thinking.
Book or movie? We recommend both
You and your child can read the book together, and while watching the film based on the book together, ask them to look out for the differences. It offers great opportunities to build an eye for details. Later, as you both compare the two, you can discuss the differences or parts that were missed in the movie, and even talk about which medium you both preferred and why – great way to develop debating skills. Some great examples of children’s books that were made into films are Matilda, 101 Dalmatians, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The BFG, The Harry Potter series, Eragon, Hunger Games, and Wonder.
Read more to write better
Author and writing teacher, Roz Morris, once said “Reading exposes us to other styles, other voices, other forms, and other genres of writing. Importantly, it exposes us to writing that’s better than our own and helps us to improve. Reading—the good and the bad—inspires you.” Reading different kinds of books, by different authors from different countries, increases children’s vocabulary and makes them familiar with the spellings of new (and more difficult) words – all this is likely to reflect in their writing too.
Read with your ears
It’s also a good idea to have your child to listen to the audio form of the book while they read or maybe even alternate between intervals of reading and listening. In addition to making them better listeners, it builds their familiarity with new words, words they might not know how to pronounce, and also gives them an understanding of how punctuations actually work. Audiobooks are great for car rides or other times when they might usually hop on a screen, reducing the effects of digital eye strain.
Mix it up to broaden their horizons
Another great benefit of increasing the range of genres in their collection, is that it will help them broaden their worldview. Different genres like historical fiction, biographies, illustrated books, poetry, informational books, and fairy tales, opens up doors to whole new worlds and cultures. With every book, they find characters they relate to, learn what they like and what they don’t, and gain valuable new perspectives. All of this can lead to self-discovery as well as self-love.
Helping children fall in love with the written word is something that will not just help them discover more about themselves, but also strengthen the bond they have with you. So, crack open a book together and make some memories.