10 Ways to Spark Engagement with Books and Reading

10 Ways to Spark Engagement with Books and Reading from SMART Reading

Reading is the gateway to learning, opening doors to faraway adventures, new possibilities and a promising future. Without strong reading skills, children will face challenges throughout their lives.

That’s why at SMART Reading, we believe Reading Matters. We help thousands of Oregon children each year develop confidence, building reading skills, and foster a love of books and reading. Often, caregivers have the experience of asking the child in their life, “How was school today?” and getting an unsatisfying but all-too-common response along the lines of, “Good.” Simply changing the question can prompt more conversation and help you understand more about your child’s day, their interests, and even tailor their very own library to reflect the things they are most interested in reading about.

Here are some fun and easy ways to engage with children around the idea of reading aloud, to gain a better understanding of their interests and encourage reading, which we would love to share with your audience.

  1. Ask your child: “Where is your favorite place to read?” Prompts can include, do you enjoy reading at the beach? In bed? Outside or inside? At school? Do you like to read in the car?
  2. Ask your child: “When is your favorite time to read?” Prompts can include, do you like to read before bed? Do you like to read on the weekend?
  3. Ask your child: “Where is your favorite spot in the WHOLE world to read?” Prompts can include fun and silly responses before you get to the real response, “In Mommy or Daddy’s lap? In Nana’s lap?”
  4. Ask your child: “What is your favorite thing to read about?” Prompts can include, do you like to read about snakes? Do you like books about sports? Do you like books about the jungle, insects and monsters?
  5. Allow time for discussion after reading a story. Books can bring up many thoughts, hopes, fears and discoveries for children.
  6. Before you begin to read a book to a child, always recite the name of the book, the author, and illustrator. Also, discuss the cover illustration. “What do you think this book is going to be about?”
  7. Encourage discussion around the plot. “If I walked in to find a little girl had eaten my porridge, I’d be quite upset! How would you feel?”
  8. Write your own book. Help your child make a small flip book so they can tell their own story and become engaged with not only reading, but writing.
  9. Reluctant readers or unusually active children frequently find it difficult to just sit and listen. Paper, crayons, and pencils allow them to keep their hands busy while listening.
  10. Be patient. Help your child sound out the words; if they become frustrated take a break, and most importantly, show them reading is fun. If it becomes frustrating take a step back and refer to the list for other ideas to bring the excitement back.

By supporting our young readers, we are giving them the skills they need to succeed in school and the confidence to succeed in life. Start making a reader today with these 10 SMART Reading tips– because – Reading Matters!