It’s never too early to start reading with your kids. Whether you read them the morning newspaper at breakfast or tuck them into their childrens beds for a nighttime story. Reading can have a very positive impact on children’s early brain development so it’s important to take the time out of our busy schedules to help with your child’s reading habits. 90% of a child’s brain is developed in his or her’s first three years. Research shows that the associations between home reading exposure are positively associated with activation of the brain during a story listening task, and reading aloud to children is more effective than talking when it comes to building literacy.
It’s important for parents to continue reading aloud to older children too. Even after they become fluent in reading, students who read 15 minutes or more start seeing substantial positive gains in reading achievement and so keep reading to your kids up to age 14. 87% of children ages 6 to 11 said they enjoyed being read to and wished their parent would continue reading to them.
If you find it difficult to find time to read to your children take a look at the five fun ways to get your child reading that we have put together below.
Read out loud
Reading 15 minutes per day exposes children to over 1,000,000 words per year. And reading aloud lets parents model how pleasant, valuable, and exciting reading to kids can be. More often than not children will catch their enthusiasm and adopt this positive energy.
Think outside the box
Reading to your children doesn’t have to be limited to the childrens beds. Think outside the bedroom and find other quiet moments throughout the daily routine to share a story or recite a few words. Before mealtimes at breakfast, lunch or dinner may work for you or bath time is also a great alternative.
Reading on the move
Often we have to travel with our little ones, whether it be to nursery, school or the local supermarket. Take a book with you for older children who can quietly read whilst they enjoy the car journey or if you don’t have to take the driver’s seat, spend the time reading a story to your child, you may even want to put on an audiobook to utilise the travelling time.
Create a childrens treasure hunt
A fun way to incorporate reading into your child's routine could be through a treasure hunt. Leave clues that lead them around the house to discover their favourite storybook in an unexpected place.
Pay attention to their taste
Lastly, accept that you may have different reading tastes to your children. Encouraging them to choose their own books with not only make the reading time more enjoyable for them but will give them some independence when it comes to making decisions.
Check out some of our favourite storybooks here to get started with your child’s reading.