Creative Ways to Put the Fun Back Into Reading
By Ryan Spencer (Dymocks Literacy Expert)
In a world of constant digital exposure, it can be hard for parents to convince kids to read for pleasure. Books don’t offer the same instant gratification as a smartphone, however reading remains one of the most rewarding – and important! – skills a child can learn. When you want to help a reluctant reader fall in love with words, it’s best to make the experience fun and enticing. The minute children associate books with boredom, turning pages will never be a top priority.
Ryan Spencer, Dymocks Literacy Expert, reveals 5 creative ways to put the fun back into reading.
Location, Location, Location!
Sometimes familiarity can be the enemy of fun and if your child’s reading time has turned a little stale, why not try mixing it up? The routine of settling in before bed with a book could be the very thing that is turning your little one off. Every week choose a new location, preferably somewhere warm and comfortable, and commit to one reading session there. You’ll be amazed at how a fresh setting can spark a renewed interest in reading. With summer just around the corner, reading in the garden or at the park could be a fun option to consider.
Make It a Team Effort
Reading is often seen as a solitary activity and this can be off-putting to kids, especially those who are particularly social. Prove that reading can be a fun group activity by getting the whole family involved. Choose a book together and assign each family member a character. You can then act it out, turning reading into a little role play. Research from the 2015 Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report also shows that 86% of Australian kids enjoy being read aloud to, as it is a special bonding experience. Once reading session is over, have a family discussion about the storyline and talk about favourite characters and moments.
Luxury of Choice
Being able to exercise control over book choice is one of the most crucial factors in determining how much your child enjoys reading. A study carried out by Scholastic last year, found that most kids agree their favourite books are the ones they pick themselves. As for their criteria? Well, it seems laughing tops the list for little ones, with the majority of children identifying funny books as their favourite. The proof is in the pudding, with lists like Dymocks Top 51 kids books overflowing with hilarious reads. My top tip, kick it off with the Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton – a best seller that’ll leave you smiling!
Book before Big Screen
These days it’s only a matter of time before any successful book hits the big screen. Use this to your advantage by encouraging your kids to read it before they see it. If they love a particular series or character, compare the similarities and differences between the book and the silver screen. It’s a smart way to kick-start a conversation about reading, while also adding an element of fun.
Variety is the Spice of Life!
Gone are the days when ‘reading’ meant that kids were sent off to bed with a dusty old classic and expected to read a chapter before lights out. Reading has diversified to the point where literature for your little one comes in so many different forms and is accessible at any time. From graphic novels to comics and magazines, there are so many ways for them to practice. Don’t be afraid of the changes and instead embrace them. Encourage your child to explore different worlds of words. The more variety they’re exposed to, the more well-rounded they’ll be as a reader.