If you’re the parent of a 4-7-year-old, you know that reading is an important skill that needs to be developed. But with so many activities vying for your child’s attention, how do you guarantee they’ll stay motivated and become a lifelong reader?
We’ve put together 15 tips to help you raise a reader in the 4-7-year-old age bracket. Read on for our advice!
1. Create a Reading Routine
Routines are comforting for kids, and having regular reading time is a great way to keep your child focused and engaged. Choose a time each day to read a story together. It’s even helpful to designate a special place—like their bedroom or a cosy nook—for reading.
2. Read Aloud
Reading aloud is a great way to help your child learn the mechanics of language and to nurture a love of books. It also gives you both an opportunity to talk about what’s happening in the story and share your enthusiasm for it.
3. Choose Interesting Books
Finding books that are engaging and age-appropriate is essential to keeping your child interested in reading. Look for books with topics and characters your child can relate to. Also, don’t be afraid to choose books with difficult words if you’re confident your child can handle them.
4. Set an Example
Kids learn by example, so let them see you reading regularly. Make sure they know that books are important to you, and talk about the books that you’re reading.
5. Have a Book on Hand
Keep a book in the car, in the diaper bag, and in other places so that you can easily grab it when you need it. This shows your child that reading is always an option and helps you make the most of your downtime.
6. Talk About Books
Show your child that books are an important part of your life by talking about them. Talk about the books you’re reading and let your child know what you’re enjoying about them.
7. Make it Fun
Reading doesn’t have to be a solemn activity. Have fun with it! Try voices and accents for different characters, act out the scenes, and introduce props to bring the story to life.
8. Ask Questions
As you're reading, ask your child questions about the story or the characters. This will help them think more critically about the book and encourage them to engage with it.
9. Check Out the Library
Libraries provide a great resource for parents of young readers. Not only can you borrow books, but many libraries also offer regular programs like story time and reading clubs. Take advantage of these for a fun and educational experience.
10. Take Reading Breaks
Sometimes kids need a break from reading. That’s okay! Try doing other activities related to the book, like drawing a picture or writing a story of their own.
11. Encourage Writing
Writing is an important part of becoming a great reader. Encourage your child to write a diary, or help them write stories of their own.
12. Read in Different Ways
Try different ways of reading. Read books on a tablet, listen to audiobooks, or even read stories in the dark with a flashlight.
13. Let Your Child Choose
Give your child a say in what books you read together. Letting them pick out books at the library or bookstore will make them feel empowered and help them stay interested in reading.
14. Introduce Different Genres
Expose your child to different genres of books, from picture books to novels to non-fiction. Variety is an important part of developing a love of reading.
15. Celebrate Success
When your child reads a book successfully, give them a high five or some other reward. Let them know that reading is something to be celebrated!
With a little bit of effort and patience, you can easily get your 4-7 year old excited about reading. Just remember to make it fun and varied, and don’t forget to set a good example. You’ll soon have a reader in the family!