It's true! Reading is not restricted to books.
If you stop to think about it, there are many times each day that you engage in reading which does not involve a book.
As a result of this, there are many ways we can encourage children to read when they're not even thinking about it.
This is great news if you have a child who resists the idea of reading a book.
This week, we had the privilege of going to Australia Zoo in celebration of our son's birthday. It was a treat for the whole family, especially as we'd never been there before.
What I loved the most was the way both boys enjoyed reading the map to find out where we could explore. It was so exciting! They were explorers visiting unknown lands and all they had to rely on was the map! The boys were engaging in reading without even realising it.
As I watched the boys reading the map, I was reminded that there are many ways we can encourage children to read for different purposes. These may include using or reading:
- the TV guide
- signs or logos for shops (e.g., the big yellow "M" for McDonald's restaurants)
- signs in grocery stores
- instructions for construction toys
- the backs of cereal boxes, labels on food boxes and bottles (e.g., the milk)
- special notes you've left with invitations or messages for your child
- digital books (yes, we have these on our website ... just in case you've missed them! :o)
- games which include cards to be read (e.g., The Sneaky Snake Board Game, The Hog and Frog Board Game, Monopoly)
- displays on the floor and walls
- signs in train or bus stations
(In case you're wondering, this was part of an invitation to play which involved getting gloriously messy!)
There are so many ways in which children can be encouraged to read in a way that has a purpose. This list is just a start.
Do you have any subtle ways of encouraging children to read (outside of books)?
(Perhaps I should mention at this time that I'm a big fan of books!!! Our well-worn library cards are proof of this!)
We'd love to hear your ideas. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or on our facebook page.
Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.