December 3, 2013
Fostering a joy of reading—Tips on instilling a love of reading in a child
Reading is not only one of the life’s greatest joys, it is also one of the most important skills a child can develop in their lifetime. The euphoria of opening a book and looking into a world created through words and imagination is something that we strive for all young readers to treasure. But when reading becomes another chore or task at school—a child’s joy from reading becomes lost or diminished.
Developing and sustaining a love of reading can be a major challenge for a child who views reading as a chore. However, there are a few easy tips that we, as reading advocates, can practice to help cultivate and instill the love of reading in a young child.
Make reading fun!
One of the easiest ways to instill a love of reading is to make reading a fun experience that a child can look forward to.
It goes without saying that the very first thing that any adult can do to help a child enjoy reading is to make the act of reading fun. Nobody likes to listen to stories being read out loud with a monotone or robotic voice. Whether you are reading out loud with a child or having a child read out loud to you, encourage them to read with expression. Transform reading by taking it to a new level—use silly voices for humorous stories or a scary voice for stories about monsters.
Explore your local public library
The local public library is one of the best places to take a young child because they have a wide variety of books to explore and discover.
Children build memories and become encouraged by having their very own public library card and being allowed to choose the books they want to read from the children’s section of the library. With this freedom, children develop ownership for their reading experiences and learn which books they enjoy through trial and error. Make it a habit to visit the public library often and allow your child to explore the hidden worlds waiting for them on the shelves. Befriend your local librarian; they are a great source for providing different tools and fun reading activities for children.
Reading does not just have to take place at home or at school—it can take place anywhere and everywhere!
Encourage your child to bring books instead of toys on road trips. Make it a game to read the text on boxes at the grocery store or even to read street signs out loud to you. The more that a child is exposed to reading, the more it becomes natural, comfortable, and enjoyable. Share with them the doors that reading opens up in their world!
With these simple tips any parent or tutor can nurture a child’s enthusiasm for reading. Learn more about opportunities for you to help a child learn to read and develop a love of reading at www.readingpartners.org/