6 Ways to Encourage Children to Read This World Book Day

Over the last few decades, reading has faced growing competition from TV, gaming, tablets, and smartphones for children’s leisure time. According to a survey by the Literacy Trust, children and young people’s levels of reading enjoyment continued to decline in 2019 and are at their lowest since 2013 (53% said they enjoyed reading in 2019 vs 53.3% in 2013). According to the report children and young people’s daily reading levels are the lowest ever recorded, with just 25.8% of children saying they read daily in their free time in 2019.

While screen time can be enjoyable and educational, reading has several benefits to children including development of a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. 

“Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income.” (Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development).

Persuading children of the joys of reading is the aim of World Book Day.  The charities’ aim is “to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.”

So how can you encourage your children to read for enjoyment? 

1) The first step is simple! Spend time with your child each day reading, this could just be a short 10-minute bedtime story but will have a massive impact on their love of books.

2) If you are a new parent or a parent to be, then read to your baby from birth. Reading to babies gives them comfort of hearing your voice and increases their exposure to language. Science has also shown that reading to an unborn baby supports their cognitive development. How amazing is that!

3) Read yourself – children who see adults reading are more likely to want to read themselves! 

It can be hard to encourage teenagers and older children to take up reading as a hobby, but there are things that parents and carers can do to inspire the habit. Here are 3 ways you can encourage your teen to take up reading:

1) Any reading counts! Even if your teen is reading a magazine then this is a positive start to encourage them to discover the joys of reading. It will also help you to discover what topics they are interested in, for example if your child reads gaming magazines then they maybe interested in sci-fi books or if fashion is more their thing then there are plenty of factual books on the history of fashion out there.

2) Find books based on their favourite films or TV shows – many popular movies and series are based on novels so this could be the perfect place to start.

3) If they do not want to read perhaps, they would like to listen to an audiobook instead? Although audiobooks are not allowing the young person to actively read it gives them screen free time and can encourage them to access reading material that they may have found difficult to understand previously. Listening to audiobooks can also aid sleep and relaxation which will support positive mental health and a healthier lifestyle. 

So, this World Book Day why not take steps to get your family reading and enjoying all the benefits that reading has to offer. Do you have any tips to help children get the reading bug? We would love to hear them!

On World Book Day we want to celebrate the wonderful world of books, and all the places they can take you. After all there is only so much TV you can binge watch! Here are the books one Cantium employee couldn’t put down in lockdown

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