Written by Katie Moore

The benefits of reading are hugely impactful in many different areas of your child’s life, and not just in the classroom.

Reading builds your child’s imagination, increases their vocabulary and helps them develop critical social and communication skills that will prepare them well for later in life.

Reading can also help kids become more emotionally literate with both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ emotions. This in turn helps them become more open when it comes to talking about how they’re feeling. 

It’s obvious that reading can help your children in school, but studies have shown that it goes beyond mere English lessons. A UK study by the Institute of Education showed that reading for pleasure can increase a child’s cognitive development across many areas, including a 9.9% advantage in mathematics. 

Reading helps your child build wider knowledge about the world around them, exposing them to different cultures, perspectives and ideas from the comfort of their own home.

Reading helps your child build wider knowledge about the world around them, exposing them to different cultures, perspectives and ideas from the comfort of their own home.

On top of all that, reading gives your children a fantastic alternative to screens. This year, and with the on-set of the pandemic ourchildren – and ourselves – are spending more time than ever in front of a screen. Living, learning and evolving online.

We’d all love ourchildren to spend a little less time glued to a device or TV series, but it couldn’t be more important today, to make time for a book.

So, the benefits of reading are clear. But how can parents encourage regular reading and eventually foster a lifelong love of books?

Use this Book Week to re-introduce the habit of reading, whether that time is every day, before bed or even a specific time slot set aside each weekend; here are some simple tips and tricks to help make the activity a regular, enjoyable experience for your child.

Make it a regular activity

Reading regularly with children is very important. The minimum recommendation is to read a book a week with your children, however I believe that once a day is a better baseline to aim for. Build reading into your child’s everyday bedtime routine, and soon it’ll become as regular as brushing their teeth. 

Select the right book

Having the ability to select the right book seems to be an important factor in children’s excitement around reading: nearly three-quarters of kids aged 6–17 (74%) responded to a Scholastic Kids study to say that they would read more if they could find more books that they like.

In my own home, I foster my children’s love of reading by building excitement throughout the day. Each afternoon we select our bedtime book – one book for each child – and pop it on their beds. My children get so excited to narrow down their book selection that it makes it easier to get them to bed, because they know they have that specially selected book waiting for them. 

 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Give back control

While screen time requires at least some parental control, reading is a safe independent alternative – as long as you’ve checked the recommended reading age, of course!

A trip to the library or bookstore can also help build a sense of ownership around reading, especially if you let the kids have total control over what they select. 

Start a discussion

I try to build a discussion around the books we’re reading, instead of simply shutting the book and being done with it. Instead, we have a little chat about what’s happening as we go through, or talk about what we thought about the story when we’ve finished, including how the different characters must have felt. It’s a great way to help their comprehension of the story, and work on building their emotional vocabulary. 

Start young

While it’s never too late to introduce a child to books and reading, it’s ideal to nurture it in them from birth. It doesn’t always have to be a traditional written story per se: you can still find a lot to explore in a basic picture book, with many different things to point out and talk about through illustration alone. 

Credits

About Katie Moore, founder of Luxuread:

Katie Moore is the founder of Luxuread, a book subscription box that delivers a hand-picked book every single month alongside indulgent treats from Australian producers. Created in 2018, Luxuread is helping adults and kids alike take time out of their busy days to sit down, relax, and read. To date, Luxuread has sent out over 5,000 boxes filled with incredible reads and indulgent treats to customers around Australia and beyond. Katie has recently launched Luxuread Kids, sending children three surprise books tailored to their age every month. https://luxuread.com.au/

Photo credit Katie Moore

Ponderers and counting...

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