Tea in the pan was boiling to the brim and I was arranging white china cups in tray when Anaya called, “Suggest a good book di.”
She seemed fascinated by my reading corner. “Coming…”, I shouted back and hurried with some snacks and other stuff. In a few moments when I reached the living area she was already surfing the pages of ‘The Lone Fox Dancing.’ I placed the tray on table and chuckled, “The one in your hand is awesome.” “Oh yes! Apanvi suggested”, she replied. I looked at my daughter and smiled. Placing the book back, she pulled the young reader closer to her and said, “She is so small and yet she knows so much about books. How come di?” “She reads”, I said while looking appraisingly at my little one.
There have been many other such moments of pleasure when my daughter’s knowledge about books and perspective towards reading is marveled at and I silently feel proud of it. In current times when parents are worried about children being glued to tabs and smartphones, the little ones in my house never go to bed without having read at least a page and it’s not something that I have to remind them about ! Delighted by their reading-habit quite a few people have asked me about how to inculcate reading habit in kids so I decided to conjure this article which might be of some help.
Reading broadens one’s perspectives and provides us with the opportunity to see the unseen in the most artistic way. There is no substitute to reading and so it’s very important that we don’t keep our young ones deprived of this magical experience !
We have all experienced that kids often not do what they are told to but they follow the examples. So why don’t be an example! Read in your free time. Read to them. Pick up whatever genre you like, but read ! It will serve two purposes, first- enriching you and second- setting up an inspiring example for your little one.
We take our little ones to various places and tend to tell them their utility so why not pay visits to places which display rich ensemble of reading material! Taking kids to book stalls and book fairs not only opens them to the large ocean of words and pictures but also is a treat to the growing minds who are prone to grasp vividly from new experiences.
Colorful and artistic pictures lure everyone out there, be it a child or an adult. So for a beginner books with rich illustrations can be used. Attractive as they are, pictures speak for themselves and it has plenty of chances to be the love at first sight !
Right environment breeds the right behavior and in reading is no exception. Create an alluring reading corner as per your interest and creativity. A house without books is like a body without a soul. Deck them well. Decorative lights can be inviting. Posters can be motivating. Couple of greens will add more life. Create a small but rich area which none can deny!
Bedtime stories can never be out of fashion. They not only build a connection between the storyteller and the listener but also widen the imagination of the latter. While telling the stories parents can give reference of the books that they have borrowed the story from. And arrange for a flip, I.e. make the young one also tell a story. Let them create or read. Encourage reading and telling that story.
It’s very significant that the children relate to the stories so while they are reading try to help them to connect it to real life. Discuss what they have read.
Communicating, I feel, is the best way to read their minds and make them listen to you. Share your experiences of reading with your children. Tell about your latest read, in simple words of course. Tell them how wonderful you felt. Tell them how every book takes you to a different journey.
Children come to us with various questions. Give answers of some and tell them to search others. Provide them with Atlas, Dictionary, Encyclopedia etc and search the answers along with them. Give directions and explain them how to refer books and how books have all the answers !
Make a habit of gifting books to your kids and other kids as well, atleast on some occasions 🙂
Provide them with the raw material that you think is appropriate. They are in growing stage and they will take time to decide for themselves so hunt and find the books that would create the right environment inside their heads.
Reading can do wonders! Let’s make the lives wonderful !!
“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” —Frank Serafini
First published here.
Image via Pixabay
A teacher by profession, I believe that learning never ends.
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