It's no secret that there are plenty of benefits to a child developing a love of books at an early age. Books stimulate the imagination, keep kids entertained and help them to learn information and social skills. One of the most important things to remember, however, is that learning to enjoy reading before starting preschool gives children a huge advantage.
Some children just don't seem that interested in books, however, and it can be difficult for parents to know what to do. With all the technology available nowadays, it's even harder to encourage children to read, which risks them falling behind even before they begin preschool. Here are some ways to turn things around and create your own little bookworm.
Start with a love of stories
If you're not reading to your child regularly, that's a great place to start. Getting them interested in stories will naturally lead to them wanting to read books for themselves. If you're already reading to your child often, there are some things you can do to make them feel more involved.
First of all, get them choosing which stories they'd like to hear. This gives you more idea of what interests them and increases their engagement. Secondly, make sure you ask plenty of questions after reading a story to test the child's understanding and make the process more interactive.
Take some fun, book-related trips
Libraries and bookshops can be really exciting for young children, with all the colours and different titles available. In many cases, just taking a child to one of these book-filled establishments is enough for them to start getting more interested in reading.
Make it a regular thing if you can, and get your child to see books as a treat. They can replace other treats like sweets or toys for good behaviour.
Use technology to your advantage
If it really is impossible to get your child to put that smartphone, tablet or other device down and read a book, consider e-books. There are even apps available with interactive, animated elements – essentially, a picture book come to life.
When this still isn't working, audio books are readily available and might be an easier way of getting a child to sit down and listen to a story.
Concentrate on your child's interests
Don't forget there are all sorts of children's books out there, on all sorts of topics. There's bound to be something that interests your child if you look hard enough, whether it's a book based on TV characters they like or a factual title on something they love like dinosaurs or space. When you find out what works, you can easily encourage more reading.