10 Tips to encourage good reading habits in kids

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Children's reading skills may be linked to their success later in life. So we've put together tips and tricks for you to develop good readers in your family no matter what age your kids are.

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Reading can also inspire kids to either write or paint about interesting stories they read.

Do you want your kids to read more? Have you tried some things to encourage good reading habits but have failed again and again?

Why reading at an early age is good

Studies have also shown that kids who read in the early elementary years are more likely to succeed in the future. The study further concludes that reading skill can influence socioeconomic standing in the future, regardless of intelligence, social class, influence or longevity in school.

Further research also shows that early readers have a bigger vocabulary and a sense of connotation, which means they are more aware of the world and have higher confidence levels, a better self-image and higher grades. These kids also learn to think before they speak.

This is important:

According to Mindchamps Preschool Director David Chiem, kids’ brains develop the fastest from ages four to seven, making this the best time to instill habits and positive associations. If you get them reading above level during this time and make reading a positive experience, they’ll be readers they’re entire life.

Other studies show that immersing your child in literature even at age three can contribute to language and communication skills that are crucial to future success.

Take note, busy parents:

Reading with your children is also a fool-proof and easy-as-pie way to spend quality time with your kids–especially if you’re a time-constrained working parent. You not only develop a special bond with your kids but also enrich their vocabulary, comprehension skills and instill love for reading, since they associate books with time spent with Mommy and Daddy.

Teachers have also reported that kids who read at an early age learn more empathy, research skills, have longer attention spans, and are able to note more details in everything they do.

So how do you encourage good reading habits in your kids? We’ve put together some tips and tricks that you can do right at home.

Click 2 to find out 5 tips for developing reading skills

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Let them read what they want–instead of what you think they should be reading.

Tips to encourage good reading habits in your kids

1. Start at whatever level they want

Reading has to be enjoyable for them or else they’ll associate books and reading negatively. Even if they’re reading below their level or choosing material that seems to have no educational value to you, let them read what they want (as long as it’s age appropriate).

2. Ask them about what they’re reading

You have to exhibit genuine interest in their reading material. Ask them about the characters, the plot and which parts and people they like best in the story (or essay, if that’s what they like!)

3. Read to them first then let them continue

If you want to spark their interest in a story or set of books, read a few chapters aloud to them then stop at a very exciting part or cliffhanger. They might just grab the book out of your hands to finish the scene themselves.

4. Visit libraries

Take your kids to the local public library or other privately-owned but publicly-open libraries to borrow books or spend the afternoon in. Balance their days out at the park and pool with quiet reading excursions.

5. Go for second-hand books

You can encourage good reading habits in your kids by letting them start their own library or collection of books. Take them to secondhand bookstores in Recto or good old Booksale or Books for Less. Let them choose a book under a set budget so they’ll know the value of buying books on their own when they are older.

Click 3 for 5 more tips on how to encourage good reading habits in your children

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Kids definitely follow suit, so be a good example and show them that you read.

6. Don’t force your interests

You may have a set of beloved books from your childhood like Peter Rabbit, The Bernstein Bears or even Peanuts comics. While you can show these to your kids, don’t force them to read the same things you did. This won’t encourage good reading habits. Instead, find their interests and start with those.

7. Find books about their favorite TV shows and games

If the kids love a certain movie, show or video game, find reading materials in the same intellectual property. Find game guides for Minecraft, spinoff stories and comics for Minions, and magazines for Disney Princesses in the market today. Encourage good reading habits through other media first!

8. Show them you like to read too

No cheating, Mommies and Daddies! You can’t expect your kids to read if they can’t see your nose buried in a book of your own. As much as possible, avoid reading on a device. Hold the real thing instead.

9. Create a reading log or chart

You can put up a large chart at home to track his or her reading progress. This visual allows children to see the number of books they’ve read which gives them a sense of fulfillment. 

10. Let them stay up late

Would you rather that kids stay up late because of playing, using gadgets or reading? Let the kiddos be awake past their bedtime (say, about 30 minutes only or whatever you are comfortable with) to read any book they’d like. This allows them get ahead into the story and be excited for more pages the next day.

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You’ll be surprised at how they’ll start reading on their own after a while.

Keep in mind that reading is a skill that needs to be developed through time. The younger they start, the better chances you have to encourage good reading habits in your kids.

What do you do to encourage good reading habits in your kids? Share them in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dana Santos

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