Reading for pleasure
If you can encourage your child to read for pleasure, they will really reap the benefits. It might not seem like a particularly important task, but actually, research shows that reading for pleasure can be directly linked to children’s success throughout their time at school and even into adulthood.
Reading for pleasure opens up new worlds for children. It gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to explore new ideas, visit new places and meet new characters. Interestingly, reading for pleasure also improves children’s well-being and empathy. It helps them to understand their own identity, and gives them an insight into the world and the views of others.
Here are some ideas for encouraging your child to read for pleasure:
- Set aside a special time – just a few minutes a day is enough to create a reading habit.
- Get caught reading yourself – show that reading for pleasure is not just for children.
- Read to each other – if your child really doesn’t want to read on their own, then read together. You read a page, then they read a page. Or one of you could read any dialogue. Be brave and put on different voices.
- Value the books they choose to read – all reading is valuable for a child’s development. Some of us prefer non-fiction; some of us prefer comics. One child might like superhero books; another might a book of football statistics.
- Set a challenge – can they read ten books before they’re ten? Can they read a book from six different genres: a comic, an information book, a funny book, a sci-fi book, a classic and an instruction manual?
- Reading buddies – reading to a younger sibling can boost your child’s self-confidence and communication skills.
- Audiobooks – audiobooks allow children to experience a book above their own reading level. It also allows you to share a book together or make the most of those car journeys. Listening to a story over and over again can improve vocabulary and encourage deeper comprehension.
- Read-a-thon – join a sponsored reading event to raise money for charity.
- Stage and screen – use your child’s favourite films or games as a springboard into reading. Knowing the characters and storyline can be a helpful bridge into reading a longer story.
- Book club – find out about local book clubs.