At Book Nook Enrichment, we have a favorite refrain: routine is key when it comes to building strong reading habits. When reading becomes a habit, children build confidence and look forward to finding books that excite them. But any routine can be become a bit stagnant over time. So what do you do when that happens? How can you encourage kids to rediscover the magic? Switch it up, of course.
Include audiobooks in your child’s library.
Audiobooks are a great way to keep things interesting and also to incorporate books all day long – not just when you have time to sit down with a physical book. Audiobooks can be played in the car, on walks, while doing chores – whenever! Because of this, most kids don’t even realize they are reading while still taking in stories and becoming stronger learners. Audiobooks help with focus and comprehension in particular, as they require a bit more focus to retain details and sequencing. On top of that, when audiobooks are done well, they’re incredibly engaging and transporting. A child’s first exposure to reading is through storytimes and read-alouds, and audiobooks take that enjoyment to a new level.
Incorporate graphic novels.
Much like being introduced to reading through bedtime stories and read-alouds with caregivers, picture books usher in the early stages of independent reading. Children use picture correlation to begin understanding a story’s plot and structure. Graphic novels take that idea up a notch. Some of our favorite books for early (and more advanced!) readers are graphic novels. These books allow children to see the story play out on the page while also allowing for more advanced storytelling than picture books. Through this visualization, children are more engaged and often more invested in the story being told. Graphic novels are also great for the more reluctant reader – they feel less intimidating and therefore more accessible to kids who may need a confidence boost.
Make up a story on the fly.
Imaginative thinking can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to education. It’s something that kids tend to grow out of. But it doesn’t have to be! Invite your little ones to create a new story with you. Ask what characters they’d like to include, where it should take place, what the conflict might be, and then write it all down. This could be a summer-long project, something you return to to create an early chapter book – or it can be a shorter project that takes an hour here or there. When it’s completed, ask them to read it to you. This type of activity not only encourages creativity, but builds confidence and instills joy in the process of both world-building and reading. Your child will be excited to read what they’ve made and see how it turned out over time.
There are plenty of ways to keep things fresh when it comes to literacy. And beyond that, there are plenty of ways to remind children of all ages that reading isn’t just educational – it’s fun.