Tips to Develop Reading Habits in Children

Reading is undoubtedly one of the most essential and fundamental skills for a child to succeed in life. Development of good reading habits in children not only helps them academically, but also in their everyday life. Early childhood educators must focus on building reading habits in their students because it develops vocabulary, increases attention span, and prepares a child for school. Moreover, developing this habit early encourages a thirst for knowledge and a lifelong attachment with books.

Many of today’s parents find it difficult to encourage their children to read. There is no denying the fact that it can be difficult to get a child interested in reading. The most important factor here is to make reading an enjoyable experience. Discussed below are a few activities that can help stimulate a child’s interest in reading.

  • Even before your child starts to speak, start talking to him or her. This helps them pick-up important language skills from an early age. In order to develop as readers, most children need strong oral language skills. Talk about your daily activities, sizes of objects, the environment, the shapes of signs, and much more using short and simple sentences.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes per day to read with and to your child. This will help your child gain vocabulary, and make him or her aware of the reading conventions. As you read, run your index finger under the print to help your child understand that each printed word has a meaning. Gradually, ask them to identify sounds and letters.
  • Recite rhymes and poems and sing songs with repetitive sounds. Children find it much easier to learn the sound patterns with repetition.

Once children start going to school, parents can start implementing several other measures to grow reading habits in them.

  • Create a reading space for your child. It doesn’t have to be a large room with lots of looks. It is sufficient to have a chair or just a corner of the couch near where your child sleeps. Pick a comfortable spot with plenty of light and space to keep a few books. This can connect a child to reading with comfort and cosiness.
  • Libraries are great places to visit with a young child. Some of your local libraries may even have literacy programs or story hours for children. Trips to the library can make children more interested in reading as they see other children doing the same.
  • During the visits to your local library, give your child the freedom to pick what he or she wants to read. If you are worried about providing the right kind of books to your child to read, provide a section to choose books from.
  • Often times, children love reading their favourite books over and over again. Always encourage this behaviour because re-reading creates an opportunity for children to connect the words they hear with the words they see in a book. You may eventually see your child reading the book to you.

At Valley Heights Preschool Long Day Care Centre, we are extremely passionate about early childhood education. If you want to know more about growing your child’s reading habit, please contact our expert educators.