Trying to get some children to read books for fun can be an uphill struggle especially in summer when children are taking a break from classes. But children who do not read books are missing out on the enjoyment that books can provide. If parents read with their children then kids are more likely to be encouraged to start picking up books to read by themselves. “It can be very helpful if a parent or caregiver also reads the books to discuss them with the child. Find out what the child thought about the book, what were the important themes, what kind of adventure or choices did the main character have and how did they all come together to make it a good read are just some of the talking points to engage kids with books,” says
Holly Smith, manager of Books & Books in Camana Bay.
Having the child read the book to you or taking turns reading aloud is a great way to reinforce the importance of books and to develop their reading skills. Reading can take other forms too. When cooking have the child read the recipe out loud to you. If you are planning a trip get an atlas or map and put the place you are visiting in perspective for the child while learning to read a map. This can also be used for family and friends who live far away,” adds Smith
Having books around the house helps children to be exposed to reading. Setting up a bookshelf especially for your child’s books makes them take a pride in their book collection. Encourage your child to pick up a book the next time you hear complaints of boredom and promote reading as an activity that is an alternative to watching television or playing video games.
Take your child to the public library where they can explore different types of books and develop a personal taste that can help to create a lasting relationship between your child and reading. The great thing about libraries is that you can make library visits a regular, perhaps weekly, activity in which both you and your child can bond over reading and books.
Book stores also give children the chance to explore different books and the pleasure of a new book will give them the incentive to build up their own library.
Many teachers provide a summer reading list – a list of books that students should read over the summer in order to prepare children for the coming academic year. This can be a very useful tool for parents who are unsure of the books their children should be reading. If your child’s teacher does not provide a list like this you can go online or ask at the local bookstores for suitable titles. During the summer months Books & Books does Story Time sessions where children get the chance to read some of the books on offer and do some crafts. Smith says, “Every Saturday we host a Story & Craft Time aimed at readers 4 to 7. After reading a couple of picture books the children make a craft based on the stories they’ve just heard. On Wednesdays it is reading from very simple books for our youngest ‘readers’ – ages 3 and younger – along with singing songs. Both of these programmes begin at 10.30am, are free and open to the public.”
So this summer encourage your child to read more; it will open up new vistas to them, educate them, combat boredom, make them think and give them pleasure. All these things can be found by simply picking up a book.