Spend a few minutes to make a list of activities your children take part on a daily basis.
If your list doesn’t include reading, you are missing an important role in parenting. Books are as important as toys to children. As a parent, I personally recommend reading books to children for two significant reasons:
- My son began to read alphabets on his own when he became two. Strangely, the first word I spotted him reading was the alphabets on his dad’s car steering wheel as I.T.U.R.A.M. If you could have guessed, yes, he had the habit of reading alphabets from right to left. The first few books he opened were always from the last page and then backwards down to the first page. Children are not born with the knowledge of reading ethics. The regular habit of reading helps them to understand the left to right and top to bottom orientation of words.
- Of course, children are not going to read words and phrases on their own until they become a little older. However, reading aloud to them stimulates their imaginative abilities, develops their vocabulary and language skills and improves their cognitive understanding of illustrations.
On the other hand, what if you have indeed shopped several books for your child but feel it’s difficult to get him/her interested in books? This is quite a common scenario with many children especially with those who are restless and hyperactive. Here are three ideas you can try, to create peppy reading moments for your children.
Connect books with their corresponding animation series
What makes children feel excited about cartoon characters? Yes, animations! Watching Spiderman crawl over his web is definitely more interesting than to see a picture of the same in a book. To begin with, if your child shows no interest in reading books, choose the characters thoughtfully. A new character on a book might seem boring. Try getting a book of the same characters that she enjoys watching. If she loves watching Dora series, she is likely to connect better with a book on Dora. This might initially help in spurring the interest in books from where she might gradually begin to explore new characters.
For instance, one of the early characters my son enjoyed watching was Peppa Pig. When I got him a Peppa Pig book, it was interesting for him to see the same character in a different version. In the picture above, you can see a video of Peppa Pig played alongside a Peppa Pig book.
Relate books to peppy playtimes
Children enjoy playing with toys the most. All else, including having food, is only secondary to them. Imagine how lively they shall get if the characters in the books can pop out to become their toys. Buy or create toys of characters that appear in the books. Make such toy characters enact the scenes which the books have it in words. For example, in the picture you see above, a book on Peppa Pig narrates a school bus trip. As I read out the pages, I also make paper Peppa and her friends to board my son’s toy bus. This way, it will make him curious to know what’s on the next page. In other words, we are bringing books to life!
Associate book reading to role plays
As you read the story, assign characters to people at home. Let your little one too take a role. Speak to each other the conversations from the book. Make realistic expressions that are narrated in the book. Recreate the book into a lively drama. They are sure to ask you for more books!
Recent studies have also shown that children who are good readers are more likely to be good writers as they grow. Reading gets them involved with words, their meaning and usage in phrases. Imagine your child reading out a bedtime story to make you sleep! You are sure to smile through your sleep 🙂 Let us all invest a little more time and focus to make our little champions, good readers.