Readers learnt how to encourage their little ones to develop good reading habits at a recent Simply Her workshop. We bring you some tips.
Simply Her’s reading workshop for parents and kids.
1 Lead by example
Parents need to love reading too, says Shanna-Mae. “Children need to see that their parents are into books themselves. Otherwise, they’ll think: ‘If Mummy and Daddy are not reading, why do I have to?’”
2 Make games part of your storytelling sessions
Reading time shouldn’t be restricted to storybooks. If a child prefers to be more active, parents can try role playing. “Let’s say you’re playing doctor and patient. Ask your child to write down some words on the doctor’s chart and make him read them out later,” says Shanna-Mae.
3 Let children choose their own books
“When kids get to make their own decisions, they feel like they have autonomy. That’s why they would want to read the books they’ve chosen,” Shanna-Mae points out.
4 Jazz up reading time
Get involved in the stories while reading with your child, says Shanna-Mae. “If the pig or duck says something, read it out in a different voice. Get your child to repeat what you’ve said or ask him to act as one of the book’s characters. This way, you’re transporting your child to the world created in the book.”
5 Play word games every day
Children need to see a word up to 50 times before they can learn it by heart, notes Shanna-Mae, so build up their vocabulary by drilling the same words into them daily. “You don’t have to sit down and go through the words one by one. Do it while your child is brushing his teeth or bathing – just ask him to tell you what word he learnt that day. You can also write words on little post-it notes and paste them around the house. Then get your child to race with you – the first person to pick more post-it notes with a particular word wins.”
6 Turn them into young authors
This works best for older children between the ages of seven and 10, says Shanna-Mae. “They really like writing their own stories. The next time you go on a trip, get your child to snap lots of pictures, then ask him to make his own book. Don’t forget to add his name as the author – kids love such things.”