5 ways to encourage kids to read more

Getting your child to read at an early age can be a problem, we suss out 5 ways to help your kids cultivate a love for reading. Good luck!

1. Repetition & Rhyme 

encourage kids to read
Young readers love predictable outcomes – repetition goes hand in hand with it

Pick a storybook that features repeated phrases or poems that your kid enjoys. Young readers love predictable outcomes – repetition goes hand in hand with it.
For instance, read:
(Wolf voice): “Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”
(Little pig voice): “Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!”
(Wolf voice): “Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your  house down!”
Read slowly with a smile, and nod along the way to let your child know you appreciate his participation.
After getting your kid’s attention, he will join in and continue the story.
As he becomes familiar with the story, pause to give him a chance to fill in the phrases.
Such books include:
One fish two fish red fish blue fish by Dr. Seuss
Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
2. Start a book club
encourage kids to read
A book club with friends is an exciting and fun way to encourage kids to read more

Gather your friends, family, neighbours and their kids for this weekly/fortnightly activity – the more the merrier! Here are our kid’s Book Club Basics:
1. Breaking the ice with a welcoming activity.
Set the kids at ease with a welcoming activity where everyone participates. These activities are relatively short and related to books that the children have read for the week. They can share a new word they’ve learnt from the book/a short excerpt from their journal/talk about their favourite character from the book.
2.  Book discussion
The heart of the book club – this is where majority of time should be devoted to, where the kids re-read their books aloud to the cosy crowd. The duration depends largely on the size of the group and the ages of the children; some have a short attention span after all! Remember to have some questions prepared beforehand to get the kids’ creative juices flowing!
3. Refreshments
Parents can take some down-time and share snacks they brought. If you want to be extra creative, having some fun with the snack-making! (e.g bake animal cookies for an animal themed book meeting)
For an extra element of fun, the kids can wear their PJs, take their pillows and stuffed toys with them!
3. “The Book Bank”
Photo 7-3-16, 1 53 41 PM
If starting a book club sounds like too much work, how about picking up a book while reading amidst nature?
“The Book bank” at the Tanglin Gate of the Botanic Garden was launched earlier this month with hopes of instilling a penchant for sharing in kids. “It would be such a joy for us should this little bookshelf encourage different families to interact with each other, and for the little ones to have a chance to make new friends at the Gardens, bonding over something as wonderful as books“, said Ms Wee Swee Poh, CEO of BP de Silva Holdings.
Pick a book up with your child/drop one in exchange for a new one at the bookshelves set up outside of the Gardens Shop at Tanglin Gate. Head out to the garden and enjoy the book while having a picnic, or simply bask in the tranquility of mother-nature.
4. Cook’book’ing
encourage kids to read
Now here’s a cool idea! Combine cooking and reading – two perfect pastimes!

Cooking – there’s no better way to get your child involved first-hand. All you need are easy-to-read recipes and you are good to go!
Share a simple recipe with your kid. Help him understand it better by going over it together. Here comes the part where he gets to read! Get him to read the recipe aloud as you get to work, each step is crucial! Let him mix the ingredients so he gets to participate.
Give him plenty of opportunities to rewrite recipes from cookbooks that he’d like to help make (and eat, of course!)
5. Pen to Paper
encourage kids to read
Nothing quite like keeping it old-fashioned

There are a few ways to go about this more traditional method to encourage kids to read more.
1. Journals
Not only does keeping a record of your child’s thoughts and daily events help you understand him better, it allows you to bond at a deeper level.
Help him start his own journal, discuss the topics that he can jot down – of something that happened make him happy/upset, if he made a new friend or how he felt about the first day at school. Prompt him to come up with his own ideas, you’d be surprised how creative children can get!
Keep a journal for yourself as well, you and your child then take turns to read aloud the parts you’d like to share at the end of the week.
2. Dictionary
Let your little one create his own booklet of vocabularies. All you need are a dictionary, a notebook and old photographs (newspapers/magazines).
With each new word learnt, junior pens it into his DIY dictionary. This is accompanied with photographs attached that illustrate the word learnt (this is where they get creative!).
3. Card Making
To make reading a little more fun and spontaneous, introduce crafts to your child.
Propose making a new bookmark together with every new book he reads – it could come with a theme too! Brightly coloured ones with glitter for a fairytale novel, one decked with drawings/stickers of food for a food themed book; the list goes on!
Like what you’re reading? Join us on Facebook and keep up-to-date with all the latest news and events from Parents World. Share your parenting pics with us via Instagram #parentsworldsg.