Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Kids Engaged in Reading
Reading to your kids is one of the most important things a parent can do, from even before they can speak too well after they are able to read themselves. It helps with learning, speech development, social interaction, and grows the bond between parent and child. As children grow and become more independent as readers, parents read to them less and less, but even kids in older demographics are showing that what they recall most is reading with their parents. Here are some tips and tricks on how to continue keeping your children engaged in reading time even as they grow older.
Keep the shelves stocked!
Continuously add variety into your home library, and keep them at a visible and accessible place low enough for your toddler to reach. Keep them in the playroom, bedroom, living room, car, etc. The more accessible the book, the more your child will be encouraged to read. Keep in mind that teachers, librarians, other parents, and the internet are all great resources for finding new and exciting books. Going to the library and used book stores are a great way to find new selections without breaking the bank.
Don’t Judge a Book by its cover – or do!
When looking for children’s books, remember that illustrations and pictures are a great tool in keeping your child’s creative mind engaged. But don’t let this detract from the stories themselves. Books are a great way to expose young children to different experiences, cultures, religions, identities, and backgrounds that can teach them important lessons about empathy and kindness.
Use your silly voice!
Just like the best audio books, change up your voice to fit with the characters in the book. Children are more engaged within a plot line when voices make the story come alive. Take note of any physical descriptions that indicate a characters manner of speaking. Neuroimaging research shows that dialogue in a story activates a key region of the brain known for the ability to attribute mental and emotional states of others. So be creative in voicing accents, adjusting pitch and tone when applicable, and don’t be afraid to get silly with it.
Keep up with it!
Try scheduling specific time to read to your child such as before bedtime, after school, or in-between playtime. Don’t feel discouraged if younger children get distracted or interrupts story time with questions. It can be a key part to learning about the reading process for your little one, and you can also purchase books that feature prompts and questions for parents to ask throughout stories to keep kids engaged and enhance early reading comprehension.