With increaded pressures coming from school and the government to imporve children's performance in reading, as parents we can often feel the pressure too if our children don't seem to want to read and enjoy books.
In fairness to them, there are lots of distractions and our children's lives are often busy with school, friendships and extra curricular clubs and sports. Online gaming and social media channels are also tapping into our children's interest at a much younger age making it even harder for your child to find their own love of reading. If you are facing these challenges then I've got 5 handy tips/viewpoints to help with the battle.
1) Netflix vs Bookflix
I recently had a converstation with my boxset loving 10 year old who had avoided reading a book throughout the entirity of the school holidays. He said that reading was boring now and he had lost interest in reading independently recently. I counter argued that reading was absolutely NOT boring and I viewed reading books a little bit liked watching a boxset except BETTER! We talked about how when you get immersed in a book it's so difficult to put it down and you just want to find out what happens next - just like when you can't wait to watch the next episode in a series. I backed my argument by explaining that because your imagination is purely your own then the boxset in your mind is even better because it's completely individual to you. Point 1 to me!
2) Make a reading den
Again, I have my ten year to thank for this one. He has a standard child's bedroom - bed, desk, beanbag, chest of drawers, you get the gist. However, provide him with an extra blanket or quilt and before you know it he's erected the most elaborate of dens going. I watched him the other day and simply said "Why don't you take a book in their with you and that new reading light I gave you?" Boom Point 2 to me! (We now sell booklights as an extra to our boxes - seemless plug there!)
3) Create a "colour in" checklist/challenge
As with younger children a tick off checklist similar to a sticker chart is a real winner in motivating children to want to read. I've included a free downloadable below to try. Definitely worth a go especially if your child is competitive - and a great idea to work in tandem with siblings!
4) Take the lead
Sometimes it's best to just take a step back and enjoy books together again. Take a couple of weeks to return to reading aloud to them without them having to read. If school is full on in their expectations with the dreaded reading record simply write something along the lines of 'we read ... together', if questionned most teachers will see the benefit in trying to engage children in reading again and will be happy for this to happen.
5) Get others involved
Most children enjoy the attention and positive praise of their family and friends - why not get others involved such as grandparnets or older couisins etc. Maybe they could share a book when they visit or perhaps over zoom/facetime taking it in turns to read a page/chapter if easier. Anything that breaks the monotomy is often a great thing and children's confidence is often boosted with a bucket full of positive attention from loved ones!
I hope these may have given some ideas to reignite the enthusiam for reading for pleasure. As always I have a wonderful selection of reading gift boxes which encourage children to grow a love of reading at www.bringabooktolife.com