Children have such active and vivid imaginations. We are often astounded and greatly amused by many of the new ideas and games that they come up with. Reading to or with your child and encouraging them to read more books often is something that will encourage their minds to grow and will challenge them to explore the world around them. Not all children like the same books, either, so it is good to have your child reading a wide variety of books, both so they can discern which books they prefer the most, but also so they become well-rounded readers.
It may sometimes come as a challenge, though, to encourage a child to read more books and to read them often. This can be due to a number of factors. You, personally, may be unsure as to what type of books to get, while the child may be a bit hesitant to read because they cannot get it right the first time through or because they have yet to find a book that piques their interest.
You can start, of course, by taking them to the library. It is quite possibly one of the oldest establishments for reading and learning, and can provide a vast array of resources for both parents and children. Libraries often have weekly story readings that you can attend with your child, making it an activity you can both do together and that will expose the child to reading. The children’s section of books in a library is also often split up into reading age groupings, making it easier to select a book. If you have problems or questions, a librarian can usually be of great assistance.
Other places to get books include book stores; both brick-and-mortar as well as online book stores. Brick-and-mortar bookstores provide great opportunities for together time while you are out shopping, and they also will often host special events for children. This is a great way to get your child books by new and upcoming authors, as well as to find some classic pieces from when you were a child. If you are looking for something a little more obscure, the staff of the book store should be able to get you the assistance you need. Shopping online provides a greater measure of convenience, though, and many online bookstores can offer a wider selection right at your fingertips. Online book stores are an excellent place to find books for your child that you adored in your own childhood, but that may have been out of print for some time. You may also find that online book stores offer better discounts on their books and there are often many free shipping offerings.
Choose The Right Books
How do you know if a book is good for your child to read? There are a number of ways to go about this, depending on the child’s reading level and parental preferences. It is not always necessary to read the entire book prior to purchase if you are worried about content or subject matter. With younger children, it is very easy to simply skim the book prior to purchase to ensure that it is suitable for your child. This is also where online book stores have an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores, because you can read reviews from other parents before you buy the book.
When it comes to choosing a book based on the child’s reading level, there are a few things to take into consideration. If they are reading on their own, you will want to look at the book’s cover to see if there is any kind of classification on it. Many books for younger readers will include symbols and classifications such as “Level 1” or “Step 2” or “Reading On My Own” to help parents pick a book that fits their child’s level. This is not always a concrete guideline, though, so do not hesitate to pick something higher or lower on the scale. If your child is with you while shopping, it is a good idea to show them the book. Open the book to the first page and have them read it. If they have trouble pronouncing only two to three words, the book will be a good read for them with a bit of challenge. Any more than three – especially on up into the five word range – and it may prove too challenging.
Encourage Imagination & Expand Horizons
Reading is a great way for children to expand their horizons and to give their imaginations some food to grow. Taking your children book shopping and making time for reading – both alone and reading with your child – is a fantastic way to encourage children to read more books. With so many options available, from libraries to online book stores, you will never run out of ways to encourage your child’s imagination to run wild.