How to Make Reading Fun for Kids
Reading with your kids is a beneficial activity for both parent and child. For your child the process can aid their emotional intelligence, improve their academic ability and allow them to rapidly develop their communication skills. From a parent’s point of view, reading time is a great chance to nurture the bond between you and your kids. Helping children to read can also ignite their interest in new topics and help to find areas of study that interest both of you.
However, your family will only benefit from reading time if you’re able to make it an engaging, interesting and enjoyable activity. Here are some of our top tips on how to make reading fun for kids.
1. Focus on topics that your child is interested in
Our first tip on how to make reading fun for kids, and arguably the most important, is to make sure you’re reading about topics that actually interest your child. It may seem obvious, but you should always monitor your child during reading time to understand if they’re truly enjoying what they’re reading about. Although it may be tempting to introduce some of your favourite subjects to your kids, do not keep pursuing them if your kids don’t show much interest. If you’re unsure what interests your child the most, you could even let them choose the books that you read together.
2. Link your reading to real-life activities
Going on a family holiday to Paris? Then perhaps you could read a book about the city before leaving. Going to the museum? Then read up on some of the exhibits you’ll find there. Linking your reading to real-life events and activities can really bring the book to life and ignite your child’s interest in the topic. You could go even further with this idea by asking your kids what they think certain characters would do in real-life scenarios.
3. Talk with your child as you read
Reading with your children shouldn’t be a one-way street. Whilst going through a book or magazine with your kids, it’s important to keep them engaged in the process by talking with them throughout. You could ask them what they think is going to happen next, or perhaps their opinion about a character in the book (real or fictional) that they’ve encountered. There’s a reason why we say reading with your children rather than to your children, after all!
4. Consider illustrated, interactive or audio books
Kids are unlikely to stay engaged with blocks of text for too long no matter how interesting the content is, so try to be creative when it comes to the format of your reading materials. Illustrated children’s books can break up text and grab your child’s attention, whilst interactive books involve your child even more in the reading process, making them feel a part of the story. If you find that your children are still reluctant readers, you could try listening to an audio book with them. You will still get many of the same benefits from this as you would from reading, and it could act as an introduction to reading text-based books in the future.
5. Designate a special ‘reading time’
As a parent you’re probably aware of the importance of structure in your child’s day-to-day lives – and the same concept applies when it comes to reading. Establishing a set day and time to read every week will introduce the activity into your child’s routine, helping them to accept and engage with it. This quiet period of reading together will also help to strengthen your parent and child bond.