While children usually love to read, there can be times when your child may show little interest. This is not a reflection on any parenting skills because most preschoolers will sometimes balk at reading.
For Kaden, he showed an interest in books and reading when he was about two. Now that he has undergone the Children Learning Reading program and is able to sound out letters and words, he sometimes hesitate about reading on his own.
Right now, he’s at a stage where he prefers me to read to him. What I’ve tried, is to read the story to him once, then it would be his turn to read the same story back to me.
You always want to present the activity as something fun and exciting to do. If you show your child that reading is the doorway to other worlds, he or she will gladly follow in your footsteps and enjoy reading.
There are 10 ways that will not only help you to get your preschooler to read, but can help to make him excited about reading.
1. Set up a reading circle for your preschooler. Gather up a handful of her favorite toys and stuffed animals. Place them around in a circle and take turns reading out loud. When it comes to that toy or that stuffed animal’s turn to read, use different voices and facial expressions. Your child will love it. Just another simple yet fun way to indulge her in pretend play and test out your speech and drama skill. ;)
2. When your child is viewing his favorite cartoon or movie, turn off the volume completely. Instead, use the closed caption. As the words come across the screen, encourage your child to read along to the words. Help him with any he might stumble with. Yes, that means you have to sit right beside him and guide him along. Not just plonk him down and hurry off to finish up your chores. That won’t work.
3. Choose books that interest your child. Like if she has an interest in fairies, then choose books about fairies. Sometimes, when kids act like they don’t like reading, it’s not the reading itself – it’s the material that doesn’t hold their interest.
Recently, my sister complained that her 6-year-old daughter didn’t like the books she bought her. She mentioned that my niece dislikes the book covers. Last week, my sister and I were browsing at this mini kid bookfair. My sister tried to buy books for my niece again. This time she bought books with pretty heroines on the front covers, my niece loves them. :)
4. Show your child’s reading progress with simple rewards. Libraries do this for reading programs to encourage kids to read all year as well as during the summer. They offer prizes when kids read a certain number of books. This might motivate your child to read more books and work towards reaching his goal and get the reward.
You can also do this at home by creating a poster chart. For every book your child reads, he gets a gold star. After a certain number of stars, reward him with a new book or a special outing.
5. Give your child access to magazines for kids such as High Five, targeted at 2-6 years olds. Your child can find easy to read stories in the magazine as well as on the site online. These stories help to improve his reading ability as well as his vocabulary. Plus, he can play learning games and solve puzzles that will also help encourage reading.
6. Give books to your child on special holidays. You can build her reading library and get your preschooler to read when she receives easy to read stories.
7. Make a reading habit. You can set a reading time for a certain time of the day. Many parents find that this works well at bedtime. They create a ritual that once their child is ready for bed, he or she can quietly read for a few minutes before lights out.
For Kaden, I try to do some regular reading with him after dinner. He also has a few current books that we’ve been reading together strewn on his bed that he will read through quietly on his own at bedtime, even though it’s more of looking at pictures!
8. Make the books your child reads come alive. If you enjoy cooking, you can create foods that associate with places he reads about in stories. If he’s reading a story about horses, take him to see horses.
Visit a lighthouse if he reads a book about a lighthouse. Visiting places helps the stories to come alive for your child when he can connect a place or a thing to what he reads.
Recently, we’ve been reading a book about animals, and Kaden asked to go to the zoo! We’ll have to bring him to the zoo soon.
9. Get your preschooler his own library card. This helps him to know that he’s a big kid now which preschoolers love. Once he has his own card, allow him to pick out what he wants to read with your approval.
Kaden’s school just handed out an application form yesterday where the school will apply for a library card on the parent’s behalf for the child. In fact, his school is intending to bring them on a field trip to the school library next month. Sweet.
10. Give your child a comfortable reading area. In this area, make sure that no technology is allowed. Put in good lighting, stacks of books and a tasty snack for her. She’ll learn to love her little hideaway and the chance to read.
Have you tried out other ways to get your preschooler to read? Show your tips with me here, I’d love to read about them!