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Encouraging children to read for pleasure

Some kids will read for pleasure without hesitation but others struggle to even open a cover. Research collected by the National Literacy Trust “has repeatedly shown that motivation to read decreases with age, especially if pupils’ attitudes towards reading become less positive”, it said. “If children do not enjoy reading when they are young, then they are unlikely to do so when they get older.”

There is plenty to be done to encourage everyone to pick up a book and get reading so here are a few tips:

Reading challenges

Summer reading challenges are everywhere in the holidays. They’re fun, free and a fantastic way of motivating children to read. You can join in at your local library and pick up stickers, puzzles and all sorts of prizes as you read through the books you have chosen. There are often whole gaggles of kids reading and taking part in activities so it’s also a great place for them to hang out and make new friends.

http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/

‘Extreme reading’ is another fun competition that you can run with your students where they take photos of themselves reading in the most weird and wonderful places over the summer holidays and then send them to each other.

Read to them

As well as encouraging children to pick up a book it is equally important that they see those around them doing the same thing. By reading to them they learn to appreciate a good story. Children who are read to are also found to do better both academically and socially.

– Do the voices!

– Read a bit every day at the same time as it will help everyone remember where you got to.

– Keep them guessing! Ask everyone what they think might happen next.

– Leave ‘em wanting more! Stopping at a critical point in the story and leaving your listeners on a cliff hanger will make sure that they pay attention to the next bit.

What should they read?

It’s also important to let kids read a bit of everything and to wander from genre to genre to figure out what they like best. Online articles, comics, eBooks and magazines should also be promoted as they might challenge a child’s preconceived ideas about reading. Most importantly they need have fun and explore!

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