We all want our little ones to be little bookworms and love getting lost in the wonderful world of books just as much as we love doing. However, whilst our little one’s surprise and make us proud every single day, the bookworm vision seems to be taking a little longer than we thought to come true.
'Are you even listening?', 'Stop ripping the pages!' and ‘Maybe we pick another book, we’ve read this one 20 times this week already’ are all things we've heard ourselves saying many, many times. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in the daily struggle of creating passionate bookworms.
But reading should be fun, light-hearted and encourage your little ones imagination. Use story time to transport your children to faraway lands, and transform them into dragon-slaying hero’s, or a strong and brave princess.
Here are some of our top tips to help you raise a reader.
Swap books for audio books
Yes, audiobooks count as reading. They are a great way to ease your little ones into the world of books and encourage them to let their imaginations run wild with the characters. Listening to someone read a book is a great way for them to learn, listen and discover the joy of books. It can also help them with their own speech, fluency and reading ability. Our go to for fun audio books is Tonies. Simply use their Toniebox and pop on one of their many characters on top to bring to life all your favourite story books.
Create a reading zone
Name a child that doesn’t love a fort or den they can call their own and go on imaginary adventures in. Creating a reading nook, den or zone that is for reading can really encourage them to get excited about story time and get stuck in. Get your little ones involved when creating the reading zone so it is genuinely an area they love, with their personality in it and bursting with everything they love. Think of their favourite things and incorporate that into the design. Think dinosaurs, the ocean, animals, the beach etc!
Bring it alive on the big screen
A tactic that has always worked wonders for us is to read the book, then watch the movie. Pick a classic story book that has been adapted to a movie to help bring the characters alive. If you read the book along with your little ones and encourage them to imagine the story in their own minds. Then when you’re finished, host a family movie night to watch the film version. It’s a nice reward for your little one for taking the time to read the book first, plus it’s a great family time activity you can all do together to help motivate reluctant readers.
Set an example
If you want to raise a reader, be a reader yourself. We all know our little ones look to us for inspiration and guidance in life, so setting a good example and making sure they see you reading is a great step to encourage them to get into reading too. Like many of us, you may breath a sigh of relief as soon as they are tucked up in bed and then get stuck into your book whilst you have a moment of calm, but by doing this they are never seeing you actually read yourself. Try to make a point of making sure they also see you reading and picking up your book too, it won’t be long before they start imitating you.
Think about your audience
Picking a book on a topic or theme that your little one likes will make it so much easier to get them interested and excited to read. Think what their favourite things are and try to pick a book that incorporates these things, you would have already won half the battle. It could be a book on their favourite super hero or inspirational figure, TV show or animal, or even their favourite activity like football.
Fill your bookcase
We know how often children change their mind so giving your little one options, and a large variety of books will help them to get into reading. Having options means they can pick the book that they are in the mood for that day, rather than being stuck with a book that isn’t interesting to them at that time. Hit up your local library to help keep that bookcase fresh with lots of variety and different book topics to interest your little one.
Read at every opportunity
There is so many opportunities to read throughout every day to take advantage of. Think outside the box of just traditional books, encourage your little one to read little things throughout the day. For example, ask them to read out the recipe from the cook book you are cooking from tonight, menu’s when you are out at a restaurant, road signs when you are on the walk to school, even children’s magazine’s are a fun and different way to get them to read.