It probably comes as no surprise that encouraging children to read from a young age helps them develop a variety of skills. From increasing vocabulary to building better concentration and empathy, reading comes with countless benefits. But recent statistics have shown a decline in kids reading for fun.
According to Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report, parents aren’t the only ones who understand the importance of reading; even kids agree that reading skills are among the most valuable. Here are five tips for teaching kids to love reading:
Read out loud.
Most parents use reading aloud to their young children as a bonding opportunity, but research shows that it also builds a powerful connection with books and could influence our kids to become avid readers in the future. As much as we hope our kids will always choose to read for fun, the truth is that reading can fall by the wayside as they grow older if we don’t build the habit early.
Less screen time, more storytime.
In the age of smartphones, apps, and tablets, exposing your child to technology is inevitable. Once they’ve been introduced to digital media, it can be nearly impossible to get them to focus on anything else, let alone read a book. That’s why it’s important to restrict your child’s screen time and enforce reading time instead—no exceptions. By setting limits on how long they’re allowed to use a device, you’ll be encouraging your child to dedicate time to reading rather than staring at a screen.
Practice what you preach.
As a parent, you can pass on the value of reading by picking up a book in your own spare time. Children learn by observation, so it’s essential that you also devote time to reading instead of watching television or playing on your device.
Let them choose.
Kids love making their own decisions, which is why parents should let them pick and choose what they want to read. You’ll be encouraging a bond with the act of reading itself while giving them the opportunity to develop their individual taste when it comes to books. This way, kids can learn to enjoy reading on their own.
Start a family book club.
At any age, book clubs are a great way to share your passion for reading and bond with others. For kids, it can help instill a love of reading while encouraging the development of critical thinking skills. Not only is it an opportunity for the whole family to spend time together, but you can make it a special occasion and serve themed treats, dress in costume, make crafts, or play games related to the book.
This post was provided in partnership with Sittercity. Founded in 2001, Sittercity is the pioneer in online child care, and has connected millions of families and sitters. Today, Sittercity is reinventing the category they created by radically simplifying the way families and sitters meet and work together.