Many parents wonder how they can make their children fall in love with book reading. And although there is no manual on how to achieve that, it is worth trying to get our little ones to become little bookworms because the benefits for children who read books for pleasure are many!
Pleasure reading can facilitate the way children connect with the community around them by opening up doors to different aspects of society. Through characters in their books they can better understand their own identity, develop empathy and see the world through someone else’s perspective (The Reading Agency 2015).
Leading by example
When it comes to our children all parents know it is true. Nothing makes more of an impact on them than what they see their parents do all day. Reading a book instead of scrolling down on a smartphone will certainly have a different impact in their perception of what is normal. The more a child sees a parent reading, the more likely to pick a book up and start reading it.
Books from 0 years old
It is very important to let children discover books at an early age. You should start reading to them before they can even speak! Here is a list of children's classic books you can pick from! Choose books with pictures and textures that the little ones can touch and interact with. Pick up an old favorite from when you were a child and share a bonding moment as you read it to them.
Leave age-appropriate books around the house, including the bathroom and the car!
Moments of boredom can quickly turn into story-time opportunities if the books are readily available. Children are naturally curious and will be intrigued to open a colorful book if it is in their vicinity.
While on the toilet or during bath time a short story can turn into a ritual through which a child can mentally transport him/herself to another world while performing a routine task. In this way, children build the habit of picking-up a book naturally when they have a free moment, when they need a sanctuary after a troubled day or are in search of refuge during a stressful time in their life.
Picture books where you need to search for different objects hidden on the page are especially useful for when children 3+ years, spend time inside the car, train or even plane. The concept of discovering the odd object from a series of images, or having to search for little items that are hidden on a page among other pictures creates a sense of accomplishment that leads to further engagement and perseverance.
Visit a bookstore
Let them wonder around and choose their own books. Don’t panic if they pick up comics. It is the first step of a magical journey in the book world. Later on, there will come a time that they ‘ll pick Charles Dickens or Jules Verne.
You should also keep in mind that not all children are the same. Depending on their age and pace of reading but also their personality some enjoy reading books and others get bored. It is important not to put pressure and remember it is called pleasure reading for a reason.
Benefits from pleasure reading
In a 2019 study researchers found that pleasure-readers received higher average grades over their non-pleasure reading peers in the core subjects of English, math, science, and history. Educators in the core subjects agreed that pleasure reading was beneficial, even essential, to student development and achievement.
Pleasure reading is proven to be beneficial in a lot of areas of cognitive development to name a few:
- Active brain usage
- Sharp critical thinking
- Acute imagination
Overall, through books children and adults can discover the other parts of the world, especially since travel has become cumbersome. It can develop and expand language skills, and even lead to eloquent writers in the future.
So if you wish your children to fall in love with the world of books, the time is now! Just buy them a book, sit next to them and let their magical journey begin!
Some info about the author
Maria grew up traveling extensively around the world, with a significant part of her childhood spent in Dubai during the late 80’s. She continues to travel as often as possible around the globe, with her family. She moved to Switzerland 7 years ago, shifting from a 10-year career in banking in Athens to a full-time mom of 3 children.
After the birth of her 1st child, she realized that various needs of parents traveling in Switzerland and many countries that she visited were not fully covered by the existing internet platforms. Focusing in particular on the need for families looking for things to do with small children while having fun, Maria took an entrepreneurial turn and partnered up with a talented team of developers to design Momizen.com, a technologically advanced web application for finding fun and educational things to do with kids on-the-go.
In her free time, she reads (mainly at-loud to an audience of 3), practices yoga, loves movies, sailing, surfing, skiing and most often can be seen cycling around her neighbourhood with her children in Canton Schwyz. Maria holds a degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Kent, in Canterbury. She is also a certified yoga teacher for adults and kids!
She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.