By Niyati Mehta
As a professional who works closely with parents and children, I have heard a lot of parents complain about how kids don’t want to read books for pleasure anymore. The reading (if any at all) happens mostly on a tab or smartphone, between rounds of their favorite online games. Well, let me tell you that getting kids to read even before the device age was no easy task. There was always the draw of watching television or playing outdoors with their friends.
But today I am going to share with you 3 simple, yet effective techniques that I used on my own children. These ideas are going to help make an enthusiastic reader out of your child – from toddlers to young kids.
Would you be more enthusiastic to read a book that is very favorably reviewed, widely recommended and on the bestsellers list? Or a book that you picked simply because it sounded and looked exciting? Then why should your child be any different? Ensure that you help your child buy books that he enjoys and allow him to decide what he wants to read each day.
Choosing and possessing a book he has picked is more likely to make your little one a more enthusiastic reader. Also giving him the ability to CHOOSE increases his power of decision making, a trait that will benefit them immensely through his adult life as well.
Lay their books out on a shelf or maybe in one of their cupboards allowing them to browse and choose their own titles for reading time. You could begin with topics that interest them more, slowly adding books which are important for them to read.
MOOD BUILDING NUDGE
Whether you’re reading a book about the day at the beach or a classic fairytale, creating the right mood for any story can make it twice as exciting for your little one. Here are some simple ways you can do this:
- Use props already present at home or hand puppets for younger children allowing them to live the story as you tell it.
For slightly older children use
- a variety of expressions,
- voice modulations
- adjust your reading pace to fit the story.
NFK Nudge Tip:
If you are reading a gripping bit, slow down, draw your words out and create an atmosphere of suspense for your little listener.
Don’t let the fun stop once the story is over. With young children, you can sometimes switch roles and ask your little one to be the storyteller for the day. For older children adopt a questioning format which is an excellent way to make stories more relatable to their lives. You can discuss their favorite part of the story, their most loved character or help them understand why a certain character acts a certain way – this will eventually help them understand the various layers of a story and the life lessons it has to offer.
NFK Nudge tip:
Ask your child to speak about her feelings and spark her imagination, making a little storyteller out of her. Being clear in thought and speaking aloud is a good way to inspire confidence in her little personality.
“It is today we must create the world of the future,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. So let the reading begin!