There’s a lot of information to take in. But regardless of the source, there’s one piece of advice that’s always offered: Make sure your little one starts reading as soon as possible. There’s good reason for this, the benefits of raising a voracious reader are well documented. Fortunately, raising a lifelong reader is simpler than a lot of parents imagine. Here are a few tips to help your child fall in love with books.
Fill the House with Books
The easiest way to get your kid hooked on books is by making sure there are plenty in the house. A study by the Australian National University analysed data from approximately 160 000 adults from 31 different countries and found that growing up in a home filled with books was a huge factor for lifelong reading. If you’re worried about burning a hole in your pocket, there are plenty of places to find free books for your home library. Wimpy has teamed up with Ethnikids, an initiative that specialises in children’s books that feature characters of colour in various South African languages. Ethnikids has written six South African short stories for kids in all our 11 official languages.
Start an Audiobook/Author Reading Collection
We can already hear the chorus of objections but hear us out. Audiobooks and author readings count as reading, and they can go a long way in improving your child’s literacy. Audiobooks and author readings are a great way for children to grasp fluency. They also help bring a book to life in ways that pictures and text can’t. You can also watch live readings of original indigenous stories on the Wimpy website.
Make Library Visits a Big Deal
Think about the excitement that surrounds a trip to the zoo – you dress your kids in their Sunday best, fill a basket with goodies, and talk up the trip for days beforehand. How could a kid not get excited about that? The same sense of anticipation and adventure should be created for a trip to the library. Help your kids think of a library as a portal to other worlds instead of a building containing a collection of books.
Let Your Kids Choose Their Reading Material
Don’t underestimate the power of giving children choice. Wherever possible, give your children the opportunity to choose the books they want to read. If they’re not quite at the age where they can make those kinds of decisions, you can still point them in the right direction. When it’s time to choose reading material, suggest books that have something to do with their own interests.
The first step to helping your child thrive is making sure they develop strong reading skills. It’s never too early to introduce your kid to the world of reading, which is guaranteed to be a lifelong source of fun.