How to cultivate reading habit in your children?
- by Shruti Gokarn
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One of the best things you can do for your child is to cultivate the habit of reading. But it seems to be easier said than done in today’s world. But it is not impossible. So here is a low down of how this important habit can be cultivated in our tiny tots.
Keep the devices away
One of the reasons why children are gravitating away from books is the unlimited access that they have to electronic devices, whether it is a mobile phone, tablet, computer or television. Limit their screen time and replace it with reading time. You may face resistance initially, but eventually you will see the positive results of taking this step.
Read to your children
This could be the single most important thing you could be doing to help your child cultivate the reading habit. Once children start enjoying the power of the written word and the worlds into which books take us, it won’t be long before they will ask for books to read themselves. In fact one of the things that you can do to pique their curiosity is to read half the story to them, expecting them to finish reading the rest on their own.
Start with picture books
Introduce them to books even when they have not learnt to read. Show them picture books which are colourful and well-illustrated. Dr. Seuss is one of the best choices out there. Not only your toddler, but even you will enjoy Dr. Seuss’s stories filled with common sense and wisdom. Let them handle the books themselves so that they can experience the joy of holding a book.
Set aside a reading time
Designate a time during the day when everyone in the house is reading. Turn it into a family activity. You could all take turns reading a book aloud, or read different characters in different voices. This is one of the best ways to encourage the reading habit, as children learn from imitating adults. So, lead by example and read around your children.
Gift your children books
Make it a habit to gift books to your children on festive occasions and birthdays. Write a loving message for them on the first page and it will become more precious for them. Once they are done the reading, they can be shared with their friends and siblings. You could also gift them a library membership when they are a little older.
There are innumerable ways in which to prompt children to pick up a book. You know your children the best. So decide what way you would like to use and get going!
Parents, it is important that you choose a preschool with a dedicated library and reading space so that your child develops the habits of reading, at the right age.