Parents and teachers often wonder what they can do to encourage young children to find enjoyment in reading. Reading piques curiosity which ultimately develops the mind. Some kids don’t like to read so finding ways to help encourage it, is always a good idea! Activities that intrigue young minds to want to know more are the key to encourage reading in young kids.
Books today are often sold with games, dolls and gimmicks which, while probably are sold more as a marketing tool than a motivator, do help children take an interest in books. However, the essence should be the reading itself.
Libraries do not offer the gimmicks, nor should a home reading shelf have to be accompanied by a game or toy. A child’s mind should not be formatted in such a way that only through a toy will a book be interesting. Here are some activities that both a teacher and parent can use, not only for a class, homeschool or afternoon activity, but also to help generate the reading of books in young children.
The activities involve direct communication with the adult and child. Expectations and activities as well as the appropriate choice of the story or book depend on the adult who is making the choice in accordance with age and ability of the child.
Reading Activities for Kids
Reading the story to the child in the most exciting way possible: Point to the characters and scenes in the pictures.
Acting out the story: Adult and child can gesture or act out the parts.
Listening to another voice: Either on cd or another reader in the home can read to the child. A different voice helps the child hear inflection, diction and perspective. Children love repetition.
Tell Me the Story: Ask the child to tell the story, or just say words as she/he turns the pages. A toddler may even be able to turn the pages and look up at the adult, waiting for the reader to say the words the child expects to hear.
Tell Me a New Story: Another way to help encourage reading is to have the child tell a new story about the same character/s. Listen carefully, show interest, ask why, and interact with enthusiasm. When children are old enough to prepare drama scenes alone, an interesting, enjoyable task is to have them prepare a little play. Adults can help kids with props and costumes to add to a presentation.
Making a fridge poster: Get the young readers to draw posters or pictures of their favorite characters from one of their stories, this is a fantastic way to help encourage reading.
This Printable Reading Challenge might help too!
Visits to Libraries and Bookstores Excite Kids
To encourage reading, take children to libraries and bookstores to show them all the lovely books of different shapes and sizes. Show them all the aisles, including cooking, sewing, cars and hobbies; books that would interest other people in the family.
It is important to show kids that all the information they know and talk about, that their parents do and say, comes in books.With computers and the Internet today, young children tend to see a static human being in front of a console. From the outside this must look boring and non-communicative. It is therefore essential that kids see colors and illustrations and know that wonderful material that they learn about can be found in a myriad of shapes and sizes of books.
Check Out Our Favorite Activity & Learning Books!
Don’t deny kids the experience of the book; the Internet will be there for them anyway. Encourage them to touch a real book, feel the expectation of turning to a new, colorful page, and finding “old friends” – the pictures and stories they love which are always there between the covers of a favorite book. These are sure fire ways to help encourage reading in children, I hope they work for you.