5 steps to cultivate reading habit in children during this lockdown

In the light of COVID-19 and lockdown, we as parents are in an exceptional situation where innovation and creativity are needed to find ways to work, learn and grow together. With almost no access to playgrounds and parks, children tend to get bored easily which may result in their increase in screen time. While acknowledging this inevitable situation, we can also take this period an opportunity to connect with family and make some sweet memories.

Books are a perfect way to open the door for children to the vast world ahead. Let us take this lockdown as a perfect time to take children along the journey towards reading. Here are a few tips to help you create this world for your child.

1. Create a space for reading

It is very important that children are able to access books independently. Set a corner of a room for this purpose. Arrange a shelf or a small table to place the books. Keep a chair/ a mat with a cushion leaning towards the wall. Ensure this area has proper lighting. The front cover must be visible for children to choose from.

2. Not too many nor too less.

Let the number of books available for the child be limited (ideally 3 to 4). You can rotate books from time to time.

3. Read for them

Spend 10 to 15 minutes in focused reading with your child at least once a day. Modulate your voice and use expressions while reading it to them (they will love it). Choose books that convey short and small stories. Children don’t have the patience for lengthy books initially. It is important that both of you must be able to read the book at the same time.

4. Teach them to handle books carefully.

This is a very important skill which we often tend to overlook. Show them how to gently turn pages of the book and how to take care of them.

5. Be a model.

This is a good time to start brushing up your reading habit. Children tend to follow the things which they see. They will want to read and write if they see that you enjoy doing them.

It is important that you develop patience and consistency in developing this habit. Children tend to enjoy reading the same book over and over again. It might bore you but its important that you follow these needs. When your child begins to start choosing a book, handle it gently, and start looking through it in a world of hers, you will know you have succeeded! Building the inner motivation to read books is the first step, the act of reading will follow.

Happy Parenting.