Getting your kids to pick up reading as a hobby
As parents, your role is simply to be the facilitator and partner in this shared activity. Keep it light and fun. Don’t stress about their style of reading or lack of time devoted to reading. Books should be able to transport your kids into far-away lands, transforming them into dragon-slayers and help them feel wind in their hair when they fly high into the sky. So how do you get them to enjoy this activity without making them feel under pressure?
1. Become an animated story-teller
…Or catch hold of your spouse if they’re better at it. Start with bedtime stories with fascinating plots. Fiction is the most preferred category for kids at an early age. However, even true stories of great Kings or adventures of a ruler can be a great read thanks to their magical plots and characterization. Your style of story-telling is surely going to play a role in making them love books.
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2. Find your own love for books
If you are surrounded by junk food, you like junk food. If you are surrounded by books, you like books. Watching parents read often evokes a desire to read amongst kids. You can utilize this time, to share a common interest with kids, and do it as a team.
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3. Create a reading nook
Make a special, comfortable nook for kids to read. Being in that nook could be a motivation in itself to read more often. It could be a window gallery where you throw some cushions and stick some posters, or a couch that has a built-in bookshelf. Display books in an interesting fashion to make kids want to read more often.
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4. Help bring the book to life
Find book-inspired activities to extend the book-reading experience. If your kid loved reading the jungle book, take them to the zoo to show them various animals. If they loved ‘The little mermaid’, take them to the aquarium to spot various kinds of fishes. Watching parts of the book come alive makes kids curious to read more to know more about what’s out there. Reading a book and then watching its movie version is also a great way to get kids excited about reading.
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5. Surround them with books
Pay a visit to the library or bookstore and let your kids choose the books they want to read. Getting them a library card will help them take ownership of the book. Give them one book at a time and tell them how they will get the next book when they finish the current one. This will keep them hooked. You could also have some books strewn around in places they are most likely to find them. The newer books they see, the more they will want to pick them up.
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Here’s a list of 50 books that are written by Indian authors and are recommended for children of various age groups:
And here’s a list of classic must-read books for kids before they turn 12. You will find most of these on amazon.in:
Slowly but surely, your child is going to love reading. Don’t be surprised if they wait for the letter from Hogwarts on their eleventh birthday. ;)
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