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Copyright 2005

Children and Books
by Tash Hughes

Learning to read is an important step for every child, and one that makes it possible for them to actively contribute as adults.

Very young children are often found playing with books, but some school children lose this interest.

Some ways to get children to enjoy books and reading are:

  • Let them see you read for enjoyment
  • Buy or borrow books on their favourite activities; whether it is football, Harry Potter, fairies, cars or horses, a book about something they love will automatically have appeal.
  • Read to your children. No matter how old and how well they can read to themselves, children still enjoy the experience of cuddling up and hearing a story. This way, you can introduce new books and harder stories as you are available to explain things as needed.
  • Don’t give them books that are too hard for them to read. Keep books accessible to their level – and the occasional book of pictures won’t hurt either.
  • Give them books with challenges inside, such as finding Wally or hidden mice throughout the story. Make it more interesting by giving a friend or sibling the same book and seeing who can solve the puzzle quicker.
  • Look out for unusual books. Children’s books now come in different shapes, with fold outs, pop-ups, 3D glasses and other variations to the rectangular paper book.
  • Make use of books that have a tape or CD as well. This takes the pressure off the child to read it all for themselves and adds excitement of character voices and background effects.
  • Have lots of books around for children to access whenever it suits them. No child will spend much time with books if it is a chore to find one.
  • Take children to libraries and let them choose their own books to borrow. The excitement of choosing can spark interest, and they’ll see other people there enjoying books, too.
  • Participate in activities at your local library. Listening to stories by the librarian with other children can be a lot of fun – and fun is what children need to associate with books. Often the reading will be followed by activities related to the books they heard.
  • Make some books yourself. Put together photos or pictures your child will like, add some captions or descriptions, and you will have a book your child will love to read.
  • Encourage your child’s imagination – tell stories, play make believe games, look for cloud pictures and be creative. Children with active imaginations will find new worlds and delights inside books.
  • Turn off the TV, computer, gameboy and associated gadgets. Too much of electronic stimulation leaves little time for books, and reduces the desire to work at reading and imagining as required from a book.

Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses in preparing all written documentation and web site content.

Tash also writes articles for magazines, newsletters and websites.




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