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Reading has amazing benefits, and unlike other activities, benefits of reading are immediately visible. Every parent wishes for kids to start reading, but there is a way to go about it. Kids first learn to ride a bicycle and they later start loving it. Simply put, reading is just like other activities we engage kids in. There is a massive involvement on the part of each parent to get them started and set them on the right track. Within a short time, with some persistence and persuasion, kids will begin to like reading. Even loving it very soon. Let us look at some ways to encourage your child to read

Let us look at some ways to encourage your child to read : 

Subscribe to a children’s newspaper and identify his area of interest

This is important as only colourful images and activity based items are going to catch the eye of a child. They will tend to find the ordinary newspaper drab and boring.  Pick up a children’s newspaper. Allow your child to flip through the pages. At some point of time one picture will hold his interest and he will pause. Identify the pictures which hold the interest of your child. It could be one related to sports or a puzzle or a new science invention or even a small cartoonish drawing. Read it, or discuss it with him. Ask for his views. Listen carefully. Any child reacts positively to encouragement. If he feels that you are genuinely interested in what he is saying, he will give rein to his imagination. Pounce on his interest and expand on the topic with some more information.

Capture his attention with the fun page

Start with the fun section which entails drawing, colouring, a small comic strip, maze or quiz to hold his attention. Any article or image that attracts your child is a cue for you as a parent. It points to the direction of his interest. A small news item or a story on cricket or football could form the pole on which the foundation for the reading habit could be based.

Encourage newspaper cuttings and a scrapbook based on his school lessons

With many schools asking the students to do projects on particular topics, the interest of the child could be further enhanced. Suppose there is a chapter in Science on human body. Look out for articles specific to one or the other body part in the newspaper. Show it to your child. He is sure to at least look at it. If there are pictures or diagrams it becomes all the more interesting. Encourage him to cut the article and paste it in a scrapbook. This becomes an enjoyable activity. And if you can discuss a little more about the topic with him, nothing like it to up the educational value.

 Encourage your child to contribute

All of us know that nothing works better with a child than recognition and applause.  So encourage your child to contribute to the children’s newspaper. A drawing, a poem, a letter, a review of a book that he read or even an account of his holiday fun. Most children’s newspapers welcome contributions. And if your child’s contribution is selected and published, just imagine his joy. His interest in reading the newspaper will double in no time.

Spending a few minutes of your time on a daily basis (if possible as a routine) as an interactive newspaper reading session will thus go a long way in making your child develop the reading habit.

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About the Author:

Shweta is the Strategic Designer & Editor for News Shuttle. Writing has been a passion with her and she hopes that this endeavour will help kids learn and have fun at the same time.

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