What Can You do to Help Your Child Fall in Love With Books and Reading?

Today I am bringing you a guest blog from Susan Day! Enjoy!

What Can You do to Help Your Child Fall in Love With Books and Reading?

Is technology hindering or helping your children to read?

With many children as young as two years using tablets and phones, many parents and grandparents are concerned that their children are spending too much time in front of screens.

This ‘screen time’ can have a dramatic effect upon a child’s ability to learn the fundamentals of their language. This, in turn, can have an impact on their ability to learn to read and write.

Children learn the majority of words they are ever going to learn before they go to school. A healthy vocabulary for a four year old, for example, is 3,000 to 4,000 words.

Sadly, there are children beginning school with a vocabulary of only 500 words. This means they may never develop the language skills needed to do well in life. While you may not want your child to grow up to be an author or a journalist; you would want them to be able to put a complaint letter together or create a thorough resume for a job.

Did you read as a child?

Apart from getting a good job, being able to read for pleasure is a gift many of us take for granted.

Do you remember how you treasured the books you read as a child? Do you still have them? I do!

One thing that concerns parents and grandparents is that today’s children won’t have that special bond with books. They won’t be able to enjoy reading; go on fantastic adventures, or discover strange worlds or heroic people.

Our children’s imaginations are fed by movies and video games. When they read a story, they have to imagine what people, places or creatures might look like. Our imagination sparks our curiosity, and curiosity leads to great intelligence and resourcefulness.

Without many of us realizing, the books we read as a child shaped the adults we became. We learned about compassion, empathy and the difference between right and wrong.

So, what can you do to help your child fall in love with books and reading?

Here are 5 simple things you can do right now to demonstrate to your child how important reading is.

  • Discuss books over the dining table – children learn from example. If a family member shares a story they are enjoying or shares a funny anecdote from a book, younger children will develop an interest and want to share their books too.
  • Leave their books lying around – make books part of the furniture. If a child becomes familiar with them they will be more likely to want to pick them up and see what they are missing.
  • Share the books you loved when you were a child – if you don’t have them anymore keep an eyes out at thrift shops or online second-hand book retailers and see if you can get a copy. Tell your child what was so special about this book and how it made you feel as a child, and now as an adult.
  • Give books as rewards or gifts – giving books as gifts is a great way to help your children build their library. You could always open a Kindle or iTunes Book account for your child, and start loading on eBooks when they are on special. That way they will have a large library available to read. It will also give them something else to do on their tablets than play video games.
  • Have a family reading circle – once a week sit with your family and share the books you are reading. You could also share a book together, taking it in turns to read a page or a chapter depending on how old your children are. Or, you could ask a family member to read a part of their favorite book each week.

When it comes to encouraging children to read there are hundreds of things you can do. The best approach is find what suits you and your family, and make sure books are a big part of your family’s life.

Who is Susan Day?

Susan Day, children’s author and writer, has developed a 7 step guide to help children fall in love with books and reading. Her blog, Astro’s Book Club, is full of ideas and tips, and while it is aimed at grandparents, many parents and teachers use the blog too. You can download the guide here: http://www.astrosadventuresbookclub.com/  

Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. She loves writing, painting, and renovating a tiny caravan.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/kids-reading-book-child-1550017/

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1 Comment

  • Susan
    February 8, 2017

    Thank you, guys, for allowing me to share my passion for children’s literacy on your fun blog. I really appreciate it. I love some of the articles here, too – you guys rock!

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