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How to encourage reading in children: 5 essential tips and codes

How to encourage reading in children: 5 essential tips and codes

April 5, 2024

Reading is an activity that has many important repercussions for human development. Among other things it allows us to understand the elements that surround us as well as to interact with them.

It is also a habit that can be acquired from early childhood. In this article we present some tips that can be useful to encourage reading in children , as well as the importance of promoting their interest in this activity.

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The importance of reading in childhood

Early childhood is considered to be the period from 0 to 6 years of age. Within this period, children go through different stages where some stimuli attract them more than others, which means they have a greater disposition to learn certain things, or through certain techniques.

For example, from 0 to 2 years old, learning is mediated by their interaction with adults , especially towards those who are their carers or educators. In addition, this stage is crucial because skills necessary for communication are developed.

Between the ages of 3 and 4, socialization begins to occur outside the family nucleus, generally due to the fact that the children begin the school stage. After 4 years, learning occurs in a more structured way. The important reference at this time is the educational system, always on par with the family or the closest affective nucleus.

In all these stages, the language has a crucial role for the development of the child , both for cognitive processes and for interaction with others. Language in this sense is not limited to the verbal use of words, but is a process through which children give meaning and meaning to the things that surround them. The latter is what allows them to establish both a personal identity and to establish communication with others.

One of the practices that encourages especially the development of language, as well as communication and even affection, is reading. Thus, encouraging reading from early childhood is important because it allows the child understand and interact with the world , and also, understand the place it occupies within this.

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How to encourage reading in children?

The reading not only has to do with the ability to decipher linguistic signs, but it is related to different manifestations of the culture that are around those signs and the narratives that they construct (Ramírez and de Castro, 2013). This is essential to interact, and to establish desires, emotions and feelings, as well as to externalize them.

1. Make reading a meaningful encounter

When dealing with young children (especially between 0 and 2 years old), reading is encouraged as long as it is an activity that also reinforces the bond between the child and caregivers .

That is, the reading must mean something shared, because as we have seen, younger children learn especially in relation to adults . Encouraging meaningful encounters with reading is something that encourages reading itself, as it influences how children perceive and feel this activity, and therefore, how they will receive it or seek it later.

Something that can be very simple is to read with them at bedtime, before taking a nap or after an activity that requires rest. Doing this in the long term also allows them to associate reading with a moment of relaxation.

2. Use attractive materials and a striking hue

Children learn through the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste), so it is important to choose stories and materials that are attractive. For example, there are many books that have textures or that have sounds , and it is important to look for those that do not have many complex words or phrases.

When narrating the stories ourselves, it is important to maintain a tone and volume of voice that is striking and that changes according to the story. In this way we encourage the recognition of emotions and attract the child's attention to reading.

Another related activity is to make stories with the same children, especially when they are a little older. For example, create a story about animals with images that the same child chooses, or with pictures of the family. In the same sense, present the parts or elements that have a book (leaves, cover, drawings ...) in an attractive way.

3. Allow the child to choose freely

Many times children are attracted to the same book over and over again. It is important to give them the freedom to choose for themselves the story that most attracts their attention, so that their interest in reading is not interrupted.

It is also important offer different types of reading . There is literature that is written by children, and there is literature that is written or adapted for children. Something that favors the interest of the children for reading is to have several options at hand and present them one by one, so that we allow them to explore their interests and to address them freely.

4. Set aside a special and comfortable space for reading

While reading is not an activity that is reduced to the understanding of words or drawings, but our emotions, desires, needs or moods are put at stake; It is also important to read in a comfortable place.

Something that can be striking for children is to allocate a special space for reading, which according to our possibilities may have, for example, a sofa to your size, small pillows or a rug, along with a basket, drawer or bookcase with different books.

5. Ensure that the daily routine includes reading (create the habit)

The reading It can become a habit , and as such, it is a practice that can be reinforced through continuous repetition. Especially when it comes to older children, the habit of reading can be encouraged if we dedicate a daily time.

If the child is not used to reading on his own initiative, it is important to do it together with him, and invite him through books that are striking (although not us) and at a pace that is prudent. In this way you can explore the reading in your own interest, instead of understanding it as a tedious, obligatory or boring activity .

Bibliographic references:

  • Ramírez, C. (2013). Reading in early childhood Disciplinary letters of the UCP, Pereira-Colombia, no. 20: 7-21.

Use this Method to Get Your Child to Listen and Behave (April 2024).

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