5 Proven Ways To Encourage Your Little Ones to Read

2:13 AM

Between video games, movies, music and the Internet itself, children these days have their still-developing attention-spans subjected to a plethora of outside influences. But while the old-school book's demise has been greatly exaggerated, the simple act of sitting down to read something from start to finish may be a struggle for your little ones. If that's the case, here are five things you can do to encourage them to read a little more:

1. Read to Them from an Early Age

For many people, their earliest memory with regards to reading comes from listening to bedtime stories. This is a popular way to help expand a child's imagination while also introducing them to the joys of reading. If your kid is too young to read by himself, be sure to use this route to help them become familiarized with the concept of books. If they're old enough, switch roles and have them read for you in order to improve their reading ability and comprehension.

2. Purchase Books with Appealing Pictures

Picture books and those that rely heavily on imagery to get their messages across are a wonderful wayto introduce reading to your young ones. That's because children naturally gravitate more towards the visual side of things before their brain develops enough to understand more abstract concepts. For this reason, be sure to have an ample amount of picture-heavy books in the house and don't be afraid to encourage your children to doodle if it will help them understand certain words better. 

3. Play Dress-up During Book Week

An annual event that aims to promote book-reading throughout the country, Book Week often comes with its fair share of celebrations. A good way to welcome this joyous occasion is by dressing-up your kid in his or her favorite book-inspired character. Book week costumescan easily be found online, but remember to order them ahead of time if you want to get the best deals on pricing.   

4. Help Them Choose Books That Match Their Interests

Even from a young age, your kids will begin to express their preference for certain interests and hobbies, and it's a good idea to consider this information when picking out books for them. Adventure-loving kids will get a big kick out of the likes of ‘Winnetou’ and ‘Robinson Crusoe’, for instance, whereas those with a penchant for animals may greatly enjoy ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. Just identify their genuine interests and you're good to go!

5. Be a Good Reading Role Model Yourself

Finally, it would be remiss not to mention that, more than anything, kids look to their parents for advice on how to be and act. So be sure to get back on the saddle as far as reading is concerned, and you'll be sending out a message that book-reading is a good, fun way to spend one's free time. This in turn will be picked up by your kids and appropriated in their own way, and you'll also get to enjoy all the benefits that reading typically entails. 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to encourage reading regardless of your child's age or educational level. Research has shownthat there are invaluable advantages to be gained from reading on a regular basis, including increased intelligence and heightened verbal ability, so take the time to gently nudge your kids in this direction as soon as possible. Chances are they'll be thanking you for it down the road.

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