Okay, so reading is important. It improves concentration and vocabulary, helps greatly with brain development and also does much good on an emotional level. Reason enough to encourage your child to get stuck into books and enjoy the most wonderful reading experiences. And naturally, that is most effective if your child enjoys it. How you can ensure that? Four tips for discovering with your child what reading has to offer.
#1 Start reading yourself
Parenting books confirm it: setting a good example as a parent pays dividends. The same applies to reading. Setting a good example makes you a good role model. So allow yourself time to relax on the sofa with a book or magazine. And… do not allow yourself to be distracted by your phone, or your child will pick up the same habit.
#2 Reading aloud to your child makes for quality time
You may think you can stop reading to your child once they are able to read. But nothing could be further from the truth! Not only is it is a moment of sociability and attention that you should cherish (and which you will long for once you have a teenager in the house), but the vocabulary and story lines in the books you read your child are often more complex than what they are able to read. In other words, a great learning exerience. But more importantly: it allows your child to experience how wonderful, enjoyable and gripping reading can be. And that is exactly what you want to achieve: for your child to discover the joy of reading!
#3 Comics count too
Do you feel somewhat resistant to the idea that comic books contribute to your child’s standard of reading? Or conversely, does that excite you? Children are motivated by things they enjoy. So give your child the freedom to choose what to read. The most important thing is that your child gets experience, that reading enriches their life. That will motivate your child to continue reading. What’s more, did you know that comic books in particular contain many unusual words that a child is unlikely to hear in conversation?
#4 Discover stories
Stories bring a whole new world to life. Your child is in that treehouse with Andy and Terry, sails along in the Chameleon and travels the world with Goos and Dummie. What could be more enjoyable than exploring more of that world by taking your child to Dummie the musical, a theatre performance of The 52-Storey Treehouse, or to the Children’s Book Museum in The Hague. That makes reading even more fun!
We do our best to ensure reading features as part of our after-school care. Our reading corner has wonderful classics, new best sellers and fun comic strips. There is something for everyone. Your child can flop down on the sofa or a beanbag and discover another world. Language often plays an important role in our activities: putting on a play, drawing comic strips, going on an expedition, everything is connected. Children learn through play that they cannot do without language and reading. Or even better: that they would not want to miss it for the world!