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How to develop the habit of reading among children

Updated on September 25, 2010

How to develop the habit of reading among children

Books are considered the most powerful tool to educate a person aside from schooling of course. Reading books makes a person analytical and well informed.

The habit of reading books can be developed and it can start as early as infancy. The more you expose the child to a reading environment the more you will hone their skills in understanding the things around them.

It is a good substitute to travelling to, remember when we were a child we imagine ourselves to be in a fairy land or in another place. It is a good tool to make them aware that there are other people and culture in different parts of the world.

Why is there a need to encourage our children to read?

It has been found out that a child will develop the habit of reading a book if you start giving them a book or reading to them at a very young age. They also imitate what they see, so when the people in the households are fond of reading a book, the child will develop the habit of reading it. If we want our children to really liked books, one way is to go with them to a library and sit down with them and let them choose books to read.

For a starter you can let them borrow what they like, at least three books a week is enough for them to read. Big kids who know how to read already can enjoin their younger sibling so as to encourage them to read also. This is what I always call a bandwagon effect, when other children sees other children doing the same thing they will be encourage to do the same activities too.

I remember my father used to read to us when we were young and he will act out while he is reading books to us. We will sit down in front of him, all three of us and listen to him. We started with comics superheroes because they are colorful then we progress to a thirty pages book until at the end of our elementary days we can read up to less than a hundred pages. We only do the reading on weekends as my father don’t like us to be overwhelm and to avoid conflict with our schedule as we are also studying already. You do not want children to see reading as an obligation. Reading should be fun for them.

You can also encourage them to read newspapers if you have at home. It is like shooting two birds in one stone, reading and being aware of what is happening in their surroundings.

From 0 to 3 years old

Recommended reading materials are those that have colorful content and big letters. These are books which the parents can read to their children at bedtime. You sit in the bed with your child and read it to them pointing the word and the picture at the same time. Usually for infants you just show them the page and the colorful picture.

When they are three years or older it is better if you enjoin them in choosing books which they like the read. Bring them to a bookstore aside from the local library if you have time so that they can see you looking for books and this will become a habit for them.

Four to six years old

Some children in this age group know how to read already. Some start early depending on the capability of the child. It is best to introduce three letter word at this time, then progressing to more complicated words. Remember to encourage them to read as an activity and read only when they are not pressured. What I do is I try to mimic what I read to them and include them in reading. You can read together so that they will enjoy the reading time.If there are other children around you can also read to them at the same time and praise them if they read the words correctly.

Seven years old and above

Usually a seven years olds kid can already read short stories up to ten pages with simple words. Encourage them to read at least thrice a week because they have additional homework to do. What you don’t like to do is to force them to read because they will avoid reading if they are forced to do it. Avoid reprimanding them if they dont read specially when they are tired from school and see the reading time as an added activity for them. Give them reward if they do their reading session well. As always giving a star or incentive/rewards works best among children.


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    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 5 years ago from US

      Thanks for visiting this hub cyoung!

    • cyoung35 profile image

      Chad Young 5 years ago from Corona, CA

      This is so true, too many parents sit down and watch TV which our children will imitate. What if we all sat down and read a book for 30 minutes to an hour before turning the TV on? Very good information.

    • profile image

      masmasika 7 years ago

      Great hub. Reading is one of the most important things that you should teach your kids because reading will keep children informed and knowledgeable.

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 7 years ago from Fabulous USA

      Very good hub, creative and a fresh reminder to us all. Thank you for sharing! Hope you are well

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      hi Miss Sue, good day to you, thats good that the older children gets to read with the younger ones, chuldren are always encourage to read when others are also doing the same thing!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      hi beth, good day to you, good for you because you always bring her along,she will grow with that habit!

    • Sue Adams profile image

      Juliette Kando 8 years ago from Andalusia

      Good hub to read. In our house reading bed time stories is a great tradition. The older children read to the younger ones too. That encourages young siblings to learn reading at a very young age.

    • beth811 profile image

      beth811 8 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas

      Thank you for this wonderful hub, Maita. I have a 2-yr old child and I always bring him along when I buy illustration books and he just grabbed any colorful books in the shelf and he seemed like to have them be bought too.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      hi myownworld, am sure your reading your best as I know you love children!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      hi Dohn, see your a great write because you have been reading all along, it is very important to teach them and for children to develop reading habit!

      thanks for reading this!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      hi justine, yes your children are lucky because they have parents like you, it is very important that as parents we encourage children to read as early as they can, thanks for dropping by!

    • myownworld profile image

      myownworld 8 years ago from uk

      lovely idea for a hub! (anything to do with improving children's lives, and you have me there!) one of my favorite moments of the day is when I cuddle my little ones close and read to them at night..... anyway, thanks for posting this one! x

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks Pretty. When I was a kid, I read so much that my parents feared that I would need glasses (which meant more money to spend on us hapless kids). However, that didn't happen (although I think that I could use a pair for driving). Safe to say, I love books and believe that every kid should read at least 15 minutes a day outside of school and that parents should read to them at bedtime. Great hub!

    • profile image

      Justine76 8 years ago

      my husband and I have read to our children since birth. He still reads to them nearly every night. My kids have all been able to read since they were 3 or 4. This was a nice hub pretty. :)