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Reading for Fun – Top Tips to Encourage Your Child

You know reading’s fun – in fact, as an adult, you’d probably love to have time to curl up with a good book – but how can you convince your kids or students? For parents and teachers with kids who already know how to read, the issue isn’t teaching them how; it’s getting them to use their reading skills to open up a world of fun.

It’s a visual world, and kids may think of reading as boring or uninteresting. But showing a child how wonderful reading is can be a lifelong gift.

Here are some tips to encourage your child to read…and convince him or her that reading is fun!

1. The Right Environment

Creating the right environment can help so much in encouraging reading. Whether in school or at home (depending on your school’s rules, of course), you can create a cozy reading area with comfortable chairs (beanbag chairs are always a favorite), pillows, and even stuffed animals.

At home, you could even have drinks and a snack available in this area. This kind of area should prove very attractive to your kids – but the rule is, only reading can be done there. No phones, no electronics, no games, and so forth. Creating a comfy environment gives kids an instant reward for reading.

Another aspect of the reader-friendly atmosphere is making sure that books are readily available. Nothing discourages reading as much as not being able to find or reach the books! Consider putting books in the bathroom, too.

2. Using Cliffhanger Moments

Sometimes kids who don’t like to read for fun still like it when you read books to them. Try reading a chapter or section of a book, and leave off at a very exciting part (many children’s books are written this way, but if not, you can choose a good place to stop). Then, tell your child that you can’t read any more now; you have something else to do, but he or she is welcome to keep reading on his or her own. If you’re a teacher, have extra copies on hand of the book you’re reading aloud and offer to loan them out to students to take home.

3. Read to and with Your Child

You’ve probably heard it said before, but it bears repeating – reading to and with your child is a great way to encourage them to read on their own. You don’t always have to use the “cliffhanger moments” to get them interested; just read to them and show them the wonderful world of books.

4. Regular Trips to the Library

Take your child with you on trips to the library. If he or she picks out a book, there’s more likelihood that he or she will actually read it. Also, many libraries host reading workshops and other programs to encourage reading. So get involved!