If you think reading is boring, you’re doing it wrong. Reading should be fun!
We don’t want you to feel bad if you have struggled with reading. You’re not the only one. Likely, you didn’t have anyone in your life that showed you reading could (and should) be fun, but you can be that person for your child.
As The Conversation points out, “Parents, as their children’s first and most important teachers, can make reading fun and inspire a lifelong love of reading.” Instead of thinking of reading as a chore you have to force your kids to do, take the initiative and find ways to make reading fun.
1. Act Out the Story of The Book
Reading a story shouldn’t end as soon as you reach “The End.” Instead, give your kids opportunities to use reading to play, such as acting out the story or drawing the characters afterward. This teaches kids that the words on the page aren’t static – they can come alive.
Moreover, reading as play is good for a child’s overall development. According to the Minnesota Children’s Museum, “Bergen and Mauer (2000) found that children who engaged in more play with literacy materials (e.g., pretend reading to stuffed animals, making shopping lists) at age four had more advanced language abilities and reading readiness in kindergarten. Finally, experimental research has repeatedly shown that when children listen to and reenact a story, they comprehend and remember more about the story than children who did not play out the scenes.”
2. Make Connections Between Books and Life
Reading becomes more fun when it becomes more real. The more you help your child make connections between books and real life, the more he will enjoy what he is reading. It can be something as simple as, “Look, they go to their grandparent’s house for Sunday dinner as we do.”
Personalized children’s books make it very easy to draw connections between fiction and the real world as children see their faces and hear their names in the stories.
3. Create a Designated Reading Space
For decades, teachers have created reading nooks in their classrooms for a good reason – it gives kids a comfy and safe place to read. You can do the same in your home. Fill up a corner with comfy pillows, blankets, and twinkly lights, where your child feels like they can relax and escape into a good book. Don’t forget to stock the shelves in the reading space with plenty of kid-friendly reading material.
4. Keep Book Characters Alive
Teach kids that books characters don’t have to live between the pages of a book. Not only can you talk about them long after you close the book, but these characters can also continue living their stories. For example, it is popular for elementary fans of the Flat Stanley Series to cut out a paper doll Flat Stanley and take him on adventures around the world, just as the character does in the books.
In personalized children’s books, the character is a real person. As you read these personalized stories, you can remind your child that not only is she is the hero in her story, but she is also a hero in real life.
5. Start a Tradition of Reading Stories Together
Here’s a quick and easy way to make reading fun – make it something fun you do together. As the New York Times explains, “The more you can make reading mutually satisfying, the more it will be associated with pleasure and reward.” If your child learns to associate reading as a fun pastime, she will be more likely to enjoy reading throughout her life.