Getting the Kids to Read!

So the number one question authors on Instagram get is this: how can I get my child to love reading? While it’s a very frequently asked question, it’s also one of the most fun to answer because there are oh, so many ways. If you love books yourself, this will come so naturally to you and you’re probably already halfway there. But let’s say you’re one of those people who only read for homework, is there still hope for your kids? The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES and here’s a step by step on how you can get started: 

  • Start them young! VERY young. There are books for every age group, believe it or not, and the baby age is so much fun to shop/borrow for. Do some research - the best way to do this is to go to a bookstore and flip through the books yourself! Along with bedtime stories, get them some interactive books. Books that make sounds, books that have various different textures, books that they can hold and experience with all their senses. And of course, they're going to try to eat the books - this is only part of the fun and how their love for books will begin, don’t panic!
  • Books make the best decoration. As they get crawling and you start to remove your crystals and vases, why not fill those corners with books instead? Imagine your delight (and theirs!) as they crawl from one point to another, find a book, and stop to see what’s inside! Books are an adventure in between two covers, let your babies immerse themselves!
  • Thrift books as much as possible. Books are expensive, there’s no denying it. There’s also no denying that they are a very important investment. So while you may occasionally want a shiny new book with a solid spine, make frequent trips to the thrift store. Pre-loved books have an entirely different kind of magic, they’re easier on the pockets and you never know the treasures you will find! 
  • Make regular library trips. The library is a reader’s second home. So many discoveries are made here and libraries are very child friendly! Sit back and let your kids explore the hundreds of titles, this is also the perfect setting to teach them to respect books as they will need to take special care of borrowed books. So many benefits to library trips!
  • Read visibly. Okay, this one is highly important. Don’t wait for your kids to go to sleep before you pick up your own book. Grab your book while they play around you, while they finish up their dinner, just anytime! Let them know your x minutes of reading time are just for you and you would prefer not to be disturbed. This might be a disaster the first few times but don’t give up. This is FOR THEM. 

  • Choose diverse characters. Yes, children need dozens of books that represent them and their unique experiences. But do not underestimate your children. They are capable of enjoying and understanding other experiences and lives as well. Introduce them to other cultures and religions. 
  • Books are a very seamless way of introducing children to a diverse world outside their homes! 

  • Read aloud now and forever. Start when they’re newborns. Read to them softly to put them to sleep and read loud, silly books that wake them up and make them giggle. But don’t stop when they’ve learned to read themselves. Find a book that both of you will love and make time to read together every single day. Books are a shared experience as well as conversation starters!

  • Listen to books. Everyday commute? Long road trip? Dreading the whining and the fights? Download some audiobooks! Soundcloud and YouTube have some free options and Audible and Miraj Studios (for Islamic stories!) are two other great options. It’s so important for kids to experience books in ALL their forms.

  • Watch books. Yes, more screen time but in this case, it’s so worth it. Read the books and then watch the animated versions of the movies! Then, have a very important discussion on which version was better. Usually, the book version will win. 

  • So these are all the tips we have for now. If you’ve already been through this process, what advice would you add? What was your personal experience like? And if you're just starting out, let us know how it goes!

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