Reading helps your child’s well-being, develops imagination and has educational benefits. Just a few minutes a day can greatly impact children of all ages.
1. Frequently read aloud
Each day, try to read to your child. Make this a special time to snuggle up together and enjoy a story. Storytelling matters to children, and they love re-reading their favourites and poring over their pictures. To make characters come alive, try adding funny voices.
2. Encourage reading choice
It doesn’t have to just be books. Let children have lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time. Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, or recipes, so many kinds of reading materials can engage them and encourage their love of reading. Consider leaving interesting reading material around the house and seeing who picks it up.
3. Read together
Choose a time when you can read together as a family and enjoy it. You could read the same book together or read different books simultaneously, or even have your children read to each other. Make sure this time spent reading together is relaxing for all.
4. Create a comfortable environment
Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently – or together.
5. Take advantage of your local library
Besides books, Singapore’s best libraries for children offer storytimes, fun workshops, and more! So visit them when you can and explore all sorts of reading ideas. See what’s on at the libraries here.
6. Talk about what you’ve read
It’s a great way to create connections, develop understanding, and make reading even more enjoyable. Starting with the front cover, you could discuss what it reveals and what it might suggest about the book. Then talk about what ideas came to mind as you were reading. You could discuss something that surprised you or something new that you found out. Discuss how the book made you feel and any memories it brought up.
7. Bring what you read to life
Maybe the main character had a favourite dish. You could try cooking it together. Alternatively, play a game where you pretend to be the characters in a book or discuss the choices that you made and how it made you feel.
8. Make reading active
Make connections between pictures, objects and words by reading about an object and finding similar items in your home. Consider organising treasure hunts related to what you’re reading. Use photos and captions from your treasure hunt experience to create your child’s very own book.
9. Adapt reading to your child’s needs
You know your child best, and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If they are more fluent in another language, encourage reading in a child’s first language and in English. What matters most is that they enjoy it.
10. Accept the child you have
It may turn out that your child just doesn’t enjoy reading, and that’s okay too. If reading becomes a battleground, everyone loses. Parenting is about nurturing the children we have, not trying to create the children we would prefer. Be patient with them, ensure that they acquire the basic foundation, provide them opportunities to read, and then let them be. Our role as parents is to meet our children where they are and support their passions, whether or not these involve reading.