Africa Kids Book Club

How to get your child into reading.

The COVID- 19 pandemic was an awakening; leading to more time spent with your child. It can be a challenging effort to get your child to read especially if you are a reader yourself. Often, we project our own cleverness or reading abilities to our children and sometimes wonder why they are unable to read as much as you do; considering they have a better opportunity to do so. 

These tips while may not work for everyone will give a baseline of where to start growing a reading culture: 

1. Introducing books of a different genre.

While fiction is always everyone’s go to, it is important to have books borrowing from different genres. Having cookbooks, travel books, comic books, memoirs and a few fun self help books might help to broaden their minds. Even within fiction, mixing adventure books, sci-fi and fantasy or any other kid appropriate genres would work wonders for your child’s reading. 

This can be taken even further by getting books that appeal to your child’s interests. Where they are interested in astronomy, for example, getting books that detail space would offer a fascinating reading avenue. 

 2. Creating a comfortable reading environment. 

Picture a nicely natural lit place, with a comfy sofa a cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. Sounds like perfect reading does it not? Create a reading space for your child as well. Decorate the space with fun bookshelves and other bookish materials. Get comfy seats and paint bright colours so that it feels less like a stuffy library and more like a reading nook. 

3. Family reading.

It is difficult for kids to pick up reading in an environment where others do not read. Introduce reading times in your family where you all pick up a book, newspaper or magazine. 

Set goals as a family on how you are going to read and how many books/ genres to read. 

4. Using planners.

Create fun, colourful planners which your children can use to track their reading. You can have them give space to fill out their favorite character/ parts in the group or lessons they learnt from the book/ quotes they picked up or any new vocabulary they encountered. 

5. Find fun activities to do from the books.

Drawing book characters, cooking like they do or even acting like them would offer a more realistic approach to reading. 

One thing to remember is to take the child at their own pace and make reading a fun instead of a cumbersome process for them.