1. Bring In The Variety
Reading need not be limited to books – you can do it subtly, such as asking your child to read the fancy Italian restaurant’s menu, the new Xbox manual, comic books, hotel facilities and even language driven games such as Scrabble. When they realise how literacy and comprehension of the language is practically useful, they will naturally desire to read better too.
2. Take Them To The Library
Even with the proliferation of the Internet, undergrads and scholars can still be seen at libraries burying their noses in research books, working on their papers. Get your child equipped for their future scholastic needs by bringing them to the library early on in life. Give them the pleasure of picking their favourite books, realising the joys of variety, and helping along when they meet difficult words or phrases.
3. Bedtime Stories
It’s a beautiful way of parent-child bonding, and can take as little as 10 minutes each time. Borrow a few books from the library together, and establish a routine before bed or during snack time, reading aloud together. If they get bored, throw in some imagination à la Adam Sandler, in his 2008 heartwarming film, Bedtime Stories.
4. Model By Example
Children often mimic their parent’s behavior, and you want to be able to set a good example early on in their lives. Within their sight, make a calculated attempt to read the newspapers daily, take a break at the sofa with a book in hand, or a magazine on holidays. When they see how enjoyable and effortless reading can be, this subtle conditioning will prove to be more restful than rule setting.
5. Store Books In Easy To Reach Places
Put some reading material in the back of the car seat, the washroom, along the dining hall walls, in a glass shelf in their rooms – kids who grow up with books all around learn to see them as allies rather than eyesores in their learning pursuits. As they become older, start sourcing for books that match their hobbies, so they make the connection that a good book can help further their interests in sci-fi, botany, cooking, travelling, astrology and more.
6. Try Audio Books
If your child is truly adverse to a physical copy, try audio books. One advantage of reading is the widening of their vocabulary and social awareness, skills that audio books can impart as well.
7. Organise A Read-A-Thon
With a few fellow mummy girlfriends, bring the children together for a day of Read-A-Thon. Just think the full works of a staycation: kids in their PJs, pillows and favourite stuffed toys, surrounded by snacks and soft drinks. In this cosy setting, parents and kids can take turns reading their favourite books, or select a ‘challenge book’ – one that probably is a tad harder to read for their age, and so giving you the opportunity to teach new words and ideas.