How to make reading engaging and fun for kids

Top tips from a UAE publisher

How to make reading engaging and fun for kids

Screen time must be up in a majority of houses across the UAE, what with distance learning in full swing and video games being played to stave off boredom.

But what about reading? Most parents want their little ones to get engrossed in a good book. Malory Towers, Tom Gates and Harry Potter have got to be preferable than Fortnite and Mario Kart.

Reading is a time-tested method to improve children’s emotional health, enhance their communication skills, and aid their creativity and personality development.

A good book also allows them a window into a world of fascinating experiences that emerge from imaginative stories. From its characters, children learn how to deal with challenges they may face in life, and finally, reading together is a wonderful way to strengthen the parent-child bond.

With that said, getting children to actually choose literature over a PS4 can be challenging, which is why UAE publishing house Kalimat Group has these seven tips to help parents turn reading into a fun-filled activity for their children.

Create a cosy readering corner

Create a quiet, cosy space for reading and dedicate a certain amount of time to it during the day. Turning reading into a special routinely activity for children will help kids eventually turn to books naturally and practice reading as a daily habit.

Read the book beforehand

Kalimat recommends parents read the book they are considering introducing to their children. Familiarising yourself with a book’s contents and characters in advance enables parents to step into their shoes while storytelling. Bringing the book’s events to life will make these reading sessions livelier and children will want more.

Let your children choose the books

This goes a long way towards holding the child’s interest if they can pick a book they particularly like the look of.

Get their opinion on the cover

Begin your child’s reading journey with a discussion of the book’s cover. Turn it into a fun guessing game, asking them what they think the book could possibly be about by gauging what’s on the cover. Who knows, some may want to take it further and want to explore the author and illustrator too.

Book reviews

Having discussions with children about a book they have read is a key component of the reading process. Going through a book’s events, getting the child’s reflections and impression of a story is a great way to gain an in-depth understanding of their thought process and evaluate their cognitive levels. It is also a window into learning how a child might approach similar situations in life. The exercise usually ends up in new discoveries about children’s personalities.

Encourage them to draw their version of the story

Motivating children to unleash their creativity through pictorial interpretations of the stories they read, is an effective way to create an artistic and intellectual space within which they can freely express themselves and actively develop new ideas they gain from reading.

Let children be storytellers

Parents should encourage their children to assume the role of the author and lead storytelling sessions. This will improve their expression and communicative skills, give them confidence and aid personality development.

And if you still can't get them to read a book themselves, there are some great audiobooks out there to try... Have a look here.

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