Daniel loves to read and when I was in the final stages of Emma’s pregnancy Daniel was more than happy to bring me book after book after book to read. We read for hours each day.
Emma is less impressed with reading and is quite reluctant to read at times. I thought I would share some of my tips for engaging a reluctant reader like Emma.
1. persevere – Reading is so important for many reasons. I am sure that Daniel’s excellent language and general communication skills are down to the number of books he has been exposed to and enjoyed. We read him allsorts of books, many which are above the age you would expect to be reading. He enjoys them so we read them. Emma on the other hand has never really enjoyed sitting to be read to. However we have persevered and made reading a daily activity. If she wants to crawl away to do other things that is OK, but reading still takes place and she is now, the past month starting to join in and enjoy it more
2. Try a range of books – Daniel would love to sit for anything, Emma less so. We discovered that she really enjoys touchy feely books so we have got a few of those. We let her explore the book and talk to her about the textures she can feel.
3. Little board books are great for small hands – we have a few little books like this – Both Emma and Daniel had enjoyed reading them and they are always very robust so can withstand the rough handling from toddlers and small children.
4. Be animated when reading – lots of movement and facial expressions help keep young children engaged.
5. Keep books accessible – we have a large basket that has some of the bigger books in that Daniel and Emma can, and do, help themselves too as well as a small bookcase for some of their board books. They can also access this and Emma now reaches for some of her favourite books and brings them to me.
6. Bedtime stories – this is an excellent time to read to children. It sets the scene for bedtime. We are currently reading a lovely little book to Emma that was sent to us from the team at Little Tiger Press called I Love You to the Moon and Back. It’s a lovely board book, so nice and sturdy for her. She likes to touch the pictures as I read to her each night. She knows that once the book is finished it is time for bed. It tells the story of two bears and ends with them saying goodnight, so perfect for bedtime.
I think doing these things has really helped to start to engage Emma in reading. What are your other tops tips for encouraging a reluctant reader?