Reading can be boring for some kids but there is no doubt that it benefits them a lot. Some kids are natural born bookworms, asking to go to the library instead of the toy store, reading books all day long and hiding under their covers at night with a flashlight and fave story. Others would rather do just about anything else than sit down and read.
If the latter kiddo sounds like at least one of the children in your home, you may be concerned about his or her lack of interest in books. Fortunately, it is quite possible to encourage kids of all ages to want to read; the following tips can help.
Birth to age 2: Let them explore
As Today’s Parent notes, you cannot start reading to your children too soon; newborns can be read to, and as they develop into curious babies, give them access to lots of books filled with bright colors and photos or high-contract black and white board books. As babies turn into toddlers, tactile books with fuzzy dogs to pet, flaps to lift and/or buttons to push that make noise are all great choices. If your little one seems more interested in chewing on the cover or turns the book upside down, no worries — the goal is to be flexible and let them explore the books on their own terms.
Ages 3 to 5: Let them choose
Preschoolers and kindergartners may start to feel that Mom’s iPhone is more interesting than cuddling up on the couch for a Dr. Seuss reading marathon. To keep them inspired to read, schedule regular trips to the library and let them browse through the stacks of books and choose a bunch that interest them. As All About Learning says, set aside a regular read aloud time with your kids; for example, as part of the nightly bedtime routine, spend 15 or so minutes reading books to your children. You can certainly suggest books as well — many kids at this age enjoy stories that rhyme or that have a lot of repetition in the sentences, as well as alliteration.
Ages 6 to 10: Let them decorate
Once children are in grade school and start reading books that their teachers choose, they will especially appreciate the chance to select their own stories at home. This is also the age range when kids love choosing new furniture and accessories for their rooms. If your children don’t already have them, treat them to a nice bedside table that will let them stack their current titles on top, along with a shelf or two below for additional book storage. You can find plenty of great looking options online that they can select from. For example, the Amityville Modern one-drawer nightstand for $139.99 has plenty of space for lots of books as well as a light and that requisite nighttime cup of water.
Ages 11 and up: Let them join a book club
Kids at this age are all about spending time with their friends. To keep them as interested in reading as you can, encourage them to start a book club with some of their BFFs; they can take turns choosing the books and can meet each week or month — whatever works for their schedules. You can also check your local library’s event schedule for book-related events like read-a-thons that they can join, talks by children’s authors and reading workshops.
With time and patience, new bookworms can be born
By giving your young kids, tweens and teens plenty of choices and ample time to read, along with lots of encouragement, it is more than possible to coax even a reluctant reader to try some new books. Give the age-appropriate ideas a try, along with your own ideas, and in no time you may hear that magical question, “Hey mom, can you take me to the library?”