You know how a baby giraffe can stand up and walk around within an hour of being born…
I wish our kids could sit up and start reading within an hour of being born.
Reading is like breathing for the brain. At birth children have approximately 200 billion active brain cells. We, as enlightened parents can help stimulate these brain cells by reading, talking and singing to children. In fact, according to a study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in January 2013 “reading to a child in an interactive style raises his or her IQ by over 6 points.”
So here are a few tips to turn kids into life long book lovers…
1. Design a reading corner:
Design one corner of your house with chairs, blankets, fairy lights and soft toys and call it the reading corner. You and your child can read in this corner by sitting comfortably or lying face down. Let the soft toys be your audience and read aloud to them in different voices.
2. Invite a friend:
With friends even the apparently boring activities become fun. Invite a friend of your child’s and read aloud to them or let them read. Then enact the story you have just read, making them the important characters.
3. Go Book Shopping:
Keep an eye out for book fairs or discount at the good book stores like Crossword. Then give your child a sum of money and ask them to browse, choose and buy books within that budget. Kids will love the power and responsibility you entrust them with and will in turn love reading the books they got ‘all on their own’.
4. Start a reading marathon:
A reading marathon is a good idea for kids who have already been around books for some years. Settle on the no. of pages each participant is expected to read each day and then get, set, read!
5. Ask ‘what if’ questions:
After you and your kid have read a book, ask your child what if he was in the protagonist’s place – what would she have done? What would happen if the bad guy or the obstacle situation had never occurred, would the hero still have become heroic?
Just like kids and sand need no introductions, they bond instantly! Books are no different. Surround kids with books from a young age, let them open the book, explore them, imagine what is happening in the story from the pictures before you read it to them, but most importantly let them see you reading books and being happy Reading. The rest will happen automatically. So are you ready to raise readers…
This post was originally published on BabyChakra – India’s leading parenting app