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5 Simple Tips To Create A Reading Space For Your Child At Home

Following up on our previous article on the importance of early reading in children and ways do it, we will now talk about ways to cultivate the reading habit in your child. By starting them young, we hope to instill a lifelong love for reading in our children.

One way to start is to read aloud to your child and with your child. Reading and storytelling can stimulate children’s imagination and open up a whole new world of experience beyond the physical bounds. Have you ever felt like you were transported to another time, space or place just by reading? If you have, give that gift of experience to your children by reading to them today 🙂

How to raise a reader?

1.Make it a DAILY habit

If we want to succeed in anything, consistency is the key. We’re always racing against time and juggling multiple roles that we feel we have no time to sit down properly and read with our children. Instead of thinking that you have to spend a proper amount of time reading, just set aside 10-15 minutes each day reading to your child (whether it’s before bed, or after dinner).

2.LEAD by example

Children model after what they see and hear and their brains are like sponges, ready to absorb anything and everything. So if we want our children to love reading, we must first do it ourselves. Maybe, dedicate some time over the weekends (ie: 20-30 mins) where the whole family just sit together and read – dad can read the newspapers, mom can read a magazine (maybe sneak in a beauty / lifestyle mag 😉) or any material of choice.

3.Make reading a FUN activity; NOT a chore

Try not to force reading upon your child and go with the flow and follow their pace. Every child develops differently and some may pick up reading faster than others. For infants and toddlers, choose books with bold colours and big words or board books with sounds / different textures to add some fun and sensory stimulation as well. Be creative with story telling! Also, take this opportunity to make reading time a time to bond with your child and as a winding-down activity (eg: bedtime stories).

4.Visit the bookstores / libraries

Instead of going to the malls on weekends, why not pay a visit to the neighborhood bookstore or libraries? This way, children see the trips to bookstores as a leisure activity to do on weekends. And some bookstores or play areas have a reading corner.

5.Encourage books instead of toys as rewards

Books are great as rewards for good behaviour and they make great gifts for children too. Let your child pick a book(s) of their choice! Personally, I find myself more willing to spend money or splurge on when it comes to books as I see it as a long term investment and can be kept for years to come.

6.Create a conducive reading environment at home

Set up a space or corner at home for your child to encourage reading. The reading space should be comfortable with adequate lighting. Creating a reading space need not be complicated or require a big space or have many books. Read more below on how to set up a reading corner for your child.

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!” – Dr Seuss

5 SIMPLE TIPS to create a reading space for your child

1.Find the perfect spot

The perfect reading spot need not be elaborate and does not require any home renovation. It is highly likely you already have that spot / corner in your home. It could be a space in your child’s bedroom or playroom or a corner in the living room. Choose a place where your little ones would spend the most time at or somewhere you can keep an eye on them as well.

2.Comfortable

Wherever the space is, if it’s not comfortable, your child is likely not going to sit there for long. Choose the right seating. Be it cushions, bean bags, a play mat or a sofa/chair – make sure it’s padded enough for comfort and has the right back support for older children to lean on.

3.Adequate lighting

Natural lighting would be best if possible, eg: a reading corner near the window. If not, ensure there’s adequate light source either from a standing lamp / table lamp for night reads.

4.Easy accessibility

Try to put books with front covers facing outwards instead of showing the sides of the books. Also, use low-tiered shelves so that the books are at your child’s eye level. These visually appealing steps make it more likely for your child to reach out for a book. It also promotes independence when they’re able to do these small things themselves. Consider doing book rotation if you have a limited rack or shelf space, ie ocean themed for this week, animal themed the next and so on.

5.Make it a fun space and uniquely ‘your child’

Children are more likely to spend time at a space that’s fun looking or decorated to the theme of their interest. For example, putting up a play tent at their reading space makes it more fun and inviting. You can always use a play mat or a rug as a base for the tent.

If you haven’t already, try these tips when setting up a home reading space for your child. Let your child(ren) help and have some fun while you’re at it. Happy reading! 🙂

“A house without books is like a room without windows” – Horace Mann

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