It may seem like an impossible feat, but it can be done. Kids can become book lovers if you, their parents, know how to introduce it to them. Why is it important for children to love books? Well, for one, it will prepare them for school. Second, it will enhance their vocabulary. Lastly, the most important reason for me as to why I push books to my children is that books can make them imagine. “Reading takes you beyond the easy way to communicate,” said Dominic Massaro, PhD, “It takes you to another world and challenges you.” In this day and age wherein digital technology is enveloping our kids, going back to basics is a must.
Anyway, here are some tips on how to teach your kids to become book lovers:
1. Make it a game. Children love to play games. You can do a treasure hunt game wherein the “treasure” is a book. You can leave clues around the house and hide it in unexpected places. In this way, your child will get the idea that a book is to be treasured and valued.
2. Support your child with their author choices. Some older kids already have their favorite authors in mind. With that, help them get to know their favorite authors better by following them online for news and other press release statements. You can buy the new books of these authors and encourage your child to write a letter for them. Who knows, the author might reply back.
3. Always bring a book with you. Some moms carry a small book with them while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or any similar situation. It is much more fulfilling than letting them play Candy Crush in their tablets.
4. Graphic novels and comics are books too. According to Daniel Willingham, PhD, “parents should consider books that look fun. Go for books that have short chapters or go for graphic novels.” Don’t limit your kids when it comes to books. Bring them to a colorful novel shop or a comic book store. They might like one and start their reading adventure from Justice League or the Avengers.
5. Bring kids to comic conventions. One mom was so thrilled when she reported to her mommy friends that her sons loved to read comics after attending a comic convention. Her teenagers were into graphic arts. One of her younger kids loved 3-D comics, and the other was so engaged in fantasy creatures. As mentioned earlier, books can enhance their imagination!
6. Don’t force your kid to read. You just can’t hand your child a book and expect him to be interested in it. As they play, play with them and turn a book page once in a while, as you get their attention. It is how toddlers start to be interested in books.
7. Turn the book page. I mentioned that in number six. Studies show that if you read with your child, your child will appreciate the whole gesture and it will get them to read. Jessica Montag, PhD also added: “shared book reading, which often begins in infancy, creates a learning environment in which infants and children are exposed to words that they would never have encountered via speech alone. By providing different word distributions than everyday child-directed conversations, shared book reading may play an important role in early language acquisition.” It doesn’t matter where and how you read the book as long as you’re reading together.
8. There must be books everywhere in the house. My mother used to leave books lying around in every room. Snow White in the kitchen, Cinderella in the living room, Sleeping Beauty in the dining area, Beauty and the Beast inside her bag and so much more. It will entice them especially if the graphics are fantastic.
9. Shop for books together. It is a bonding activity between you and your child or teen. Shopping for books is a great way to talk about things while browsing for new “treasures.” If you can afford it, let your child pick one book each month to jumpstart his reading hobby.
10. Give books as gifts. What else is there to say? Practice what you preach, right? Read a book and give a book. It’s as simple as that.
There are many other ways to encourage children to be book lovers (check it out in www.parents.com). Hopefully, you can do these things and ease your children into loving the books.