Reading is both a skill and joy usually acquired at a young age. Every child’s experience is unique and it’s important to take into account every child’s needs and desires while walking alongside them in their reading journey.
Below I’ve curated a few things to consider when helping a child find passion and curiosity for reading.
Choosing a Book
Choosing a book is the first page to flip in your child’s reading adventure. Things to take into consideration when picking out books includes the child’s preference of genre, character types, and story length.
Of course, first it’s important to establish the child’s reading level. This can be gathered from teachers, online resources, or by observing how your little one handles different books, words, and phrases.
Their reading level will help when choosing what length of book to pick up. Is your child in need of a picture book with fewer words, are they ready for paragraphs, or maybe even ready to flip open a short chapter book?
Once you’ve established a reading level and book format, you can observe what types of genre or characters your child is pulled towards. Some of the most popular children’s genres include fantasy, fairy tale, mystery, science fiction, and realistic fiction.
It may be beneficial to find books based on shows or movies that your little one enjoys, as many cartoons have their own books. Nature, animals, and family-oriented books are also popular themes.
One of the most important aspects of starting this journey with your child is to let them play an active role in choosing books and reading them. They are more likely to invest in a book if they enjoy its contents, images, and the atmosphere surrounding reading time.
Consider making a fun afternoon trip to the bookstore, go to a live reading, or follow along to an audiobook to get them pumped. Seeing other kids reading will likely lead to furthered interest. You can also set up a schedule, routine, or join a reading program at your local library or online to help with consistency. Think about adding rewards for reaching certain reading goals or dedicating time to reading with your child or letting them tell you about their book.
Other fun ideas include creating a reading nook or special space in your house dedicated to reading, sticker charts, or going to see a movie version of a recently finished book.
Helping children develop a love for reading is something they will always remember. It is a skill that they will use for the rest of their lives and ideally enjoy. I hope this article has helped you prepare to start the journey with your child or any little ones you know! Remember to be patient, encouraging, and most importantly, have fun!
Stay curious and happy reading!