Seven tips to develop the love for reading in your child

The love for reading is the greatest gift parents can give to their children. It fuels imagination and creativity and develops thinking, inquiry, and research skills. As we grow, the ability to read quickly and understand large segments of text facilitates our learning. Being parents and teachers, we can do a lot to develop the love for reading among our children at an early age. 

1. Place books within the child’s reach at an early age

Parents can start early by placing colourful picture books within reach of their infants. Let the child touch and feel books, be attracted to the colours and the noise of the paper. This early start develops a liking for books which can easily grow into a love for books as the child grows up. 

2. Role of pop-up books at the early age

 Interactive and brightly illustrated pop-up books build motor skills in the child and make the child think. The experience of flipping 3-D illustrations, or moving hands over a butterfly or gazing at a castle makes them wonderstruck.

3. Engage in play way reading

Parents can use voice modulations when reading out stories to read out the dialogues (or makeup dialogues, if not there in the book) of different characters. Making funny sounding voices and involving the child in adding sounds as special effects for objects in the story, adds to the child’s wonder and intrigue for stories and books.

4. Make a habit of reading out stories to children during bedtime

Parents should make reading before going to bed a routine. The book can be shared between the parent and the child and as the parent reads out the story, the child follows the pictures or the text. As the child grows older, he/she reads along with the parent and eventually takes over. The story sessions also enhance the child’s listening skills and imagination and lead to good sleep.

5. Roleplay of characters using props

Roleplay can make stories fun and help bring to life a storybook. The parents and the child can take turns being characters from a storybook, using props and dresses.  This entertains young readers and also cultivates tolerance towards another person’s behaviour.

6. Let children choose the books they want to read or to be read to them

As the child grows up, his/her adoration for books likewise grows. Parents should encourage a tradition of visiting the local bookstore or visiting an online bookstore like Amazon. Such a visit should be a big deal, almost a celebration.

7. Make children read wrappers (biscuits, chocolates) and hoardings

Wrappers of packed foods, drinks, chocolates are an excellent source of new words for the child. While travelling children should be encouraged to read signboards of places, cities and distances, as well as hoardings and advertisements. Parents can assist their children to read them. Such reading makes children aware that words and text are all around them and assist in real life. 

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