A love for reading is the foundation of many things. There’s the academic gain, such as a wider vocabulary and basic grammar blocks. Reading also challenges your child’s imagination and love of learning. Indeed, the earlier your children learns to read, the sooner he develops an appreciation for the things that around then.

How can you get your children to love reading? Consider the following:

Set time aside to read.

Make it a habit! When your child sees that books are an integral part of your weekly, even daily routine, he’ll see it less as a chore and more as a part of life. Perhaps you can begin by reading to him an interesting story every night. Be animated in your storytelling! This will make the reading session exciting and fascinating, and definitely something to look forward to.

Pick books that are appropriate to your child’s age, and are within their interests.

One of the things that can turn kids off reading is being made to appreciate stuff that are either too elementary for them (such as getting a teenager fairy tales) or too advanced for them (such as Harry Potter for really young children.). Find something that’s interesting but challenging for them. Align it with their current interests. For instance, a book about cars would go down well for a child who loved the Transformers.

Give them choices.

Kids don’t like to be pushed into anything. Force them to read and you’re guaranteed a rebellion. Rather, make it like reading is their choice. For instance, schedule a date to the local library and let him/ her pick what book interests him. Or for your after-dinner routine, you can ask: would you rather read a book or do something else they enjoy? Choices help empower children and reinforce a habit.

Go multi-media.

In this age of technology, reading is no longer limited to reading something on print, like books and newspapers. Rather, the computer and the World Wide Web can actually make reading an amazing, audio-visual and interactive experience. For instance, many encyclopedia software today offer video illustrations of the various entries. Some websites have areas where your kids can click specific links, and sound effects in the story will play. This will make the materials so interesting for a child, they’d be reading without even knowing it.

Create mysteries.

Here’s another thing that kids can’t resist: a good mystery! If you want to encourage your children to read, create a puzzle that they can only solve by reading about it. This will make reading an adventure, with the added bonus of getting rewarded for finding the answer!

Talk to your child about what you’ve read! Lastly, always make sure that you don’t make reading a mere private experience. Talk to your child about what they’ve discovered, and share their delight in a wonderful story. In fact, this can be quite a parent-child bonding moment for you both, if you find a literary work that you both enjoy. But more so, encourage their critical-thinking skills. Have an opinion, encourage an intrigue, even start a debate! This will make your kids more than mere consumers of words, but actually people who process what they read!