Reading offers numerous benefits for children and encouraging reading for pleasure is one of the best ways to keep children reading in the later years. Here are a few reasons why we should encourage children to find joy in reading:
- makes them smarter
- builds empathy
- helps them do well at school
- builds creativity and innovation
- improves their future prospects
Best of all, it’s fun. So here are loads of resources that will help you to encourage your children from the budding to avid reader…
Encouraging Reading Aloud
Children love to be read to – even the most able readers will relish a good bedtime story. Reading together does not only inculcate good reading habits for children, it also offers parents and children a terrific opportunity for family bonding.
Additionally, reading aloud helps children who are still building their reading vocabulary as it allows them to read more challenging books that they may be unwilling to pick up on their own. Technology makes it even easier than ever with read-along story book apps and audio books that we can play in the car.
You can also try these read aloud websites:
- Just Books Read Aloud – contains over 600 popular children’s books that have been read aloud.
- Story Online – streams video program featuring famous people reading top quality children’s books aloud.
- Oxford Owl Classics – offers a small collection of classics on audio.
Don’t forget to check out our recommended Read-along Storybook Apps.
Motivating Children to Read
- Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate children to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.
- You can also take on the Family Reading Challenge and read with your child every night for 14 days straight.
- Download the Goodreads App and participate in their reading challenge.
- Join the Summer Reading Challenge and keep track of books read, find new books to read, take part in competitions, and play games.
- Create a special place for reading.
- Reading should be fun, not a chore.
- Engage your child’s reading, whatever age they are. These are some questions you can ask.
Be a Model Reader
As the saying goes: “monkey see, monkey do” and “children will do what you do, not what you say”. The same goes for reading. If you’re not a reader, how can you expect your child to love reading?
Think about how often your child sees you reading and what your child would say if asked: “Does your Mum or Dad like reading?”
Talk about what you’re reading with your child. How can you can engage your child in what you’re reading?
After Reading Activities
Encourage creativity and reader response with:
Games to play:
- Read Non-fiction and roll
- 5 Finger Retelling
- Snakes and Ladders Reading Game – read the word, make a sentence
- Story Ball/Story Cube
- What Shall We Do Today? A month of ideas to help your child get into reading.
- Story activities for younger children
- Book Trust – Best Book Guide – find the right books for your child.
- ALSC – Children’s Notable Lists
- International Literacy Association – Reading Lists
- Good Reads – Primary Reading Lists
- Best Bedtime Books for Children
- International Children’s Digital Library – offers great children’s literature online for children living in any country. The ICDL is also available as an app where a worldwide collection of children’s books can be accessed from your iPhone. It is the largest collection of its kind, spanning the globe with thousands of children’s books from 60 countries, in a wide assortment of beautiful languages with captivating illustrations. (Support their vision by making a small donation to help them keep this library open and free for children all over the world).
- Oxford Owl eBooks – offers 250 free eBooks to help support your child’s reading development.
- EPIC – offers access to over 10,000 eBooks online or from their app (iTunes or GooglePlay). Membership is free for educators.
- A Book and a Hug – a site with loads of book reviews that help children to find books that they will love to read.
- Unite for Literacy – contains a large number of picture books for emerging readers. These books are narrated in different languages, e.g. Arabic, French, Korean and Tagalog.
- ePlatform by Wheelers – offers a full-service eBook lending library used in over 1000 schools and public libraries in more than 15 countries around the world. Unfortunately, you can only borrow eBooks from your school’s eLibrary.
- Follett Shelf – is another online eLibrary you can access if your school offers it.
What’s on the News for Children
- Reading Eggs – a website and app that helps children learn to read with reading games and activities.
- Oxford Owl Reading Resources – Oxford Owl also offers reading resources to help your child’s reading and writing development at home.
- Fun English Games – contains a wide range of free teaching resources that are perfect for students learning English, EAL classes and teachers looking for ideas online. Enjoy interactive games, classroom activities, printable worksheets and much more!
- ABCYa – provides free educational computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All activities were created or approved by certified school teachers. They are modelled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.
- Kid World Citizen – shares ideas to teach kids about world cultures and our planet through travel, food, music, celebrations, service, maps, art, and projects. The goal is to inspire children to think globally.
- Wonderville – offers students a chance to learn about many different areas of science. Students may work online as well as print out activities.
- Guide to Grammar and Writing