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7 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read More

11 September 2019

September is a great month for reading! There’s so much going on, with National Read a Book Day, International Literacy Day and Roald Dahl Day taking place on 13th September.

Reading is a fun activity for kids, and so important for their education and development. But if your little one is more likely to have a screen glued to their hand than a book, there are some simple ways to turn the tables. Check out these handy tips to encourage your child to read more!

Get them into a routine

Kids can be naturally rebellious, so while it’s important not to tell them they have to read, establishing a reading routine will do wonders.

Bedtime is the obvious fit. Your child will already have a set bedtime, so introducing a book 20 minutes before you tuck them in will not only have them looking forward to bed but will also help them settle.

But it doesn’t have to be before bed. Using stories as an after lunch or dinner treat might encourage them to finish their plate before diving into their favourite fairy story.

Read with them

Part of that routine should include you reading to them, especially toddlers. It will help improve literacy skills as they associate words with sounds, while the time spent together will further your special bond. It’s a fun activity that you can both look forward to!

Read when they read

If your little one isn’t receptive to the idea of reading, the best strategy might be to simply dive into a book yourself. Pick up the latest bestseller during playtime, or rediscover an old classic while they eat. If they see books holding your gaze with the same appetite they have for their dinner, then they might start to wonder what all the fuss is about.

Inquisitive minds will eventually seek out the joys of reading!

Take a book to kill time (instead of your phone/tablet)

Whether it’s the doctor’s waiting room, the back of the car or waiting for the train, sometimes you'll find yourselves with time to kill.

This is the humble book’s time to shine! Take a couple of books with you to keep them occupied and out of trouble.

Reward their behaviour

Feedback is so important for developing minds and growing bodies. The more you encourage and reinforce their behaviour as a positive act, the more likely they'll be to keep reading.

A small treat, like a snack, a new toy (or book!) or a trip to the park is the perfect reward. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical treat. Tell them how beautifully they read, how hard they tried and how happy it made you to listen to them. It will all help to encourage them to keep turning those pages.

Take the fun online

Reading is a great opportunity to ditch the phone or tablet and reduce kids’ screen time. But that’s not to say tech and books can’t live side-by-side, happily ever after.

You’ll find lots of great additional material to stories online. Try Pottermore for more magical adventures with Harry, Ron and Hermione. Or take a look at Penguin for some fun quizzes, games and activities to keep them interested in their favourite stories and characters!

B&M Top Tip: if they have a favourite author, why not follow them on social media? Twitter and Instagram are great tools for keeping up to date with new releases and interesting content!

Start your own library

It sounds obvious, but your child is more likely to be encouraged to read if they’re surrounded by books!

Libraries are fantastic places for children, and can be a fun day out for the whole family. But giving children the opportunity to leaf through their very own library and pick out books as and when they please is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

Our Rio 3 Shelf Bookcase is perfect for kids’ bedrooms and a great starting point for building up their first personal library. And you can fill it with old and new stories from our Books section, including Peppa Pig, Peter Rabbit, That’s Not My…, and classics like Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood.

What are you and your little ones reading at the moment? Share your favourite books and your reading tips for children with the B&M Community on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.