How do you encourage your grandkids to read for pleasure? How can you best instill in them a love of books, and the written word? And, why is it important?
Those of you who love to read will know that reading for pleasure is one of the most fulfilling hobbies anyone can have. An unopened book offers so much mystery and suspense. Discovering new characters and plots can be life changing even though most are fictitious.
Not only does reading open up worlds that your grandchild may never have the opportunity to experience in their own lives, but reading gives them solid literacy skills which will ensure they are a success at any career they choose.
A child who can read well, is going to be able to write well. A well-crafted resume can make the difference between getting a dream job or another rejection letter. In fact, being able to clearly express yourself in words is an extraordinary important skill all children should acquire.
So where do you begin?
Children should be encouraged to read for pleasure for the earliest age. To help you out here are three of my favorite ways I use to encourage my grandkids to read for pleasure.
1 Celebrate Books as Gifts
When you give a book as a gift it gives you the perfect opportunity to share it. Reading and share-reading are wonderful ways to create memories that will last a lifetime and encourage a love of reading.
Each time your grandchild revisits the story, they will remember the time they spent with you. And, if you are lucky enough they will share the same books with their children in years to come.
Best of all you can dedicate the book to each grandchild and make the gift of giving the book even more special.
Books make great gifts. They are often treasured more than toys and games, living on bookcases and in trunks for years long after the other things have been thrown away.
2 Be a Reader Yourself
Being a reader yourself will certainly encourage the children around you to do the same.Be the role model they are looking for, and set an example for your grandkids to follow.
Leave books lying around and choose to read instead of watching television. Use books as doorstops, and decorations. Celebrate how important books are to you in the décor of your home.
Show them that reading is something they can do at anytime of the day, not just bedtime. Read before breakfast, after lunch, and while waiting for the bus.
3 Help Children Create Their own Stories
Engendering a love of stories can also come from becoming a story teller. Children have fantastic imaginations and will often grab the opportunity to share it if given the chance.
When you have finished reading a book ask your grandchild what they think could happen next. Will Snow White go on to have a career on the stage and have seven children? Will Red Riding Hood go on to become an animal trainer? Will she ditch the red hood for something more modern?
Engage children in the art of storytelling by allowing them to write their own stories. These can come straight from their imagination or they could re-write a classic. What might have happened if Goldilocks came to a house where there were three mice, who were blind, or three pigs who needed some advice on how to construct strong homes?
About Susan Day
Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, of course, a grandmother. She wants to empower all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. Her new book was written to explore changes in grandparenting, and teaches the reader how to create their own Grandparenting Philosophy. Discover it here:the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing.