Encouraging Reading At Home

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We all want to foster a love of reading with our children, but sometimes that can be a bit of a challenge, especially if our children aren’t showing as much interest in reading as we would like. 

This week I have rounded up a few fun ideas which will help level up the reading in your home! 

how to support your child with reading

Try Audiobooks!

Why Audiobooks, You Ask?

Imagine this: Your child, cosy in their favourite reading nook, immersed in the captivating world of a story. Only, instead of flipping pages, they’re listening to a skilled narrator breathe life into characters and scenes. That’s the magic of audiobooks! They provide a unique reading experience by combining narration, sound effects, and music to transport young minds into the heart of a tale.

The Role of Tech Devices 

Now, here comes the tech twist! Audio devices such as Amazon Alexa, Yoto Players or Tonies are your secret weapon in encouraging children of all ages to access audiobooks. With a simple command or tap, these devices can play an array of audiobooks, letting your child explore the world of words effortlessly. No need to wrestle with physical books or keep an eye on the clock; just let technology be your partner in crime.

The Benefits are Plentiful

  1. Engagement: Audiobooks keep kids engaged by adding a new dimension to storytelling. The vivid narrations and accompanying soundscapes make stories come alive in a way that print alone can’t match.

  2. Convenience: Life as a parent can be hectic, but with audiobooks, you can sneak in some reading during car rides, while preparing dinner, or as a soothing bedtime routine. Tech devices like Alexa and Yoto make it as easy as pie.

  3. Diverse Options: These platforms offer a vast selection of audiobooks, from classic tales to contemporary adventures. Your child can explore various genres and discover their literary favourites.

  4. Language Skills: Listening to audiobooks helps improve vocabulary, pronunciation, and comprehension, making it a valuable tool for language development.

  5. Screen-Free Entertainment: In a world dominated by screens, audiobooks provide a healthy alternative that fosters a love for literature without staring at yet another device.

Creating an Enchanting Reading Nook

Now that we’ve introduced the wonders of audiobooks, it’s time to craft a captivating reading nook that will further ignite your child’s love for stories. After all, every young reader needs a cosy corner where their literary adventures can truly flourish. 

1. Choose the Right Location

Start by selecting the perfect spot in your home. It could be a corner of their bedroom, a quiet area in the living room, or even a moveable dedicated reading space such as a den or tent if you’re feeling extra creative. The key is to find a place where your child can read undisturbed.

2. Comfort is King

Next up, let’s talk comfort. Plush pillows, soft blankets, and a snug bean bag chair are all fantastic additions. Consider your child’s age and preferences; some may prefer a comfy cushion on the floor, while others might enjoy a cushy armchair.

3. Good Lighting is Essential

Proper lighting is crucial for reading without straining those little eyes. A reading lamp with warm, soft lighting will create a welcoming atmosphere. If possible, position the nook near a window for some natural daylight.

4. Stock Up on Books

Of course, no reading nook is complete without a treasure trove of books. Arrange a small bookshelf or bookcase nearby, filled with a diverse selection of titles that cater to your child’s interests and reading level. Remember to put the books forward facing where possible as children will be more enticed to choose a book if they can see the bright and vibrant imagery on the front cover, rather than just the spines. 

5. Personalise and Decorate

Let your child’s imagination run wild when decorating their reading nook. Add some wall decals, posters of their favourite characters, or even a string of fairy lights for a magical touch. Encourage them to have a say in the décor to make it truly their own. If you can create a space which really calls to their interests and desires, they will be far more likely to want to spend time there. 

By creating a reading nook that’s as enchanting as the stories within, you’re not only providing your child with a dedicated space for their literary adventures but also instilling in them a lifelong love for reading.

Make Books More Interactive

If your child often complains that reading can be a boring experience, there are definitely things you can do to make books feel more interactive for children. 

1. Add Post-it Notes To Books

A great way to make books interactive cheaply is to use post it notes. You could put notes covering the pictures and see if they can guess what is underneath or cover up the words and see if they can guess what’s happening from the pictures. 

Alternatively, cut your post it notes into strips and cover up parts of words for some spelling practise, too. 

2. Make a puppet show

Bring the characters in your books to life by turning them into puppets! 

Once you’ve made them, add them to lollipop sticks and create your own puppet theatre. 

3. Word Or Picture Hunt

Engage your child in their books with a game! Call our a word (or for younger children you could name a picture) and see if your little one can rush to find it quickly. 

For example, if you’re reading a farm book, call out ‘chicken’ and see if they can find the picture of a chicken or word chicken in their book. 

4. Record Your Own Audiobook

Rather than listen to audiobooks, why not record your own! 

There are many free recording apps available for phones and tablets, so you can use what tech you already have to get started today!

5. Use A Story Basket

Rather than thinking of a book as a standalone item, why not turn your books into a full experience!

You could put your book into a basket along with items that would help tell the story.

For example, if your child were reading The Smartest Giant In Town, you could include a few different clothing items that match the events in the story. 

So, there you have it! Three fun ideas to make reading a fun experience for everyone! Do you have any reading tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 

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