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Encouraging and maintaining interest in reading - how?

(10 Posts)
SteamWisher Mon 28-Oct-13 17:31:17

My DS is just turned 4 and loves books as does his sister. But as he gets older he likes playing with his toys more (especially imaginative play) and rarely sits still to read. How can I encourage his interest in books more? We go to the library about once a week which helps and have bought far too many books - is this enough?!

Campaspe Mon 28-Oct-13 19:14:59

I guess your DS is at an age where he doesn't yet read himself, but relies on you to read to him? I think it sounds as if you are doing all the right things. I think getting really excited - in an over the top fashion - about picture books you think will appeal to him is a really good start. Letting him pick a book and show you the pictures is another good way. I found my DD was reluctant to sit still for a story, but I had a captive audience when she was eating at the table, and we have shared a good many books that way. Also, when your DS goes to school, they will come up with lots of creative ways to share books and get excited about stories - but in the meantime, it sounds to me as if you are doing all the right sorts of things. I think enthusiasm, letting hte child lead, audio books, an exciting selection of books is just the right way forward. I bet your DS will start school with lots of advantages from all your input.

SteamWisher Mon 28-Oct-13 21:01:46

Ok, thank you. No he cannot read yet but occasionally I find him sitting and flicking through books. And he wants to me to read at bedtime. But other days (like today) he'd rather play lego! I've been looking at books for his christmas present too so will definitely try the getting excited bit!

letsgetreadytoramble Mon 28-Oct-13 21:07:45

Check out the booktrust and reading agency and world book day websites for more tips too.

mrspink27 Mon 28-Oct-13 21:14:06

Keep reading to him and model good reading as he will do what you do. So make sure he sees you reading for information and pleasure. Also consider not quite so obvious reading... recipes, shopping lists, tv guides, comics and magazines etc and fiction and non fiction (especially if he has a "thing" he is into- like dinosaurs, football etc) The library is a great place to "try out" a variety of different styles and authors and also "storytime and rhyme" sessions. Talking books in the car are a great way to pass the time...

whereareyou Mon 28-Oct-13 21:45:15

Continue to read to him beyond the point he is easily reading himself. Look out for some of the best children's books that you find you also enjoy and have wonderful illustrations, an enthralling story or make you both laugh. It is worth searching out some of the award winners and look for the previous recommendations on past threads on here or in newspaper reviews.Enjoy trying lots of different types of books , non fiction, ones without words, poems. He would probably enjoy flicking through the book people lego collection ones himself.

Have a snack after playing for a while,then a cuddle and a book. Books become a comforter.Audio books before bed and in the car. There are some brilliant ones.Books in his bedroom for him to pick one out for you to read before bed or in the morning. Reread the ones he loves again and again.

Books bought as a treat inbetween birthdays and Christmas,when they are usually most excited about the toys. I still love browsing in book shops, as do all my siblings and now our respective children.

SteamWisher Tue 29-Oct-13 06:27:34

Thanks everyone, this is all great advice. I'll check out the world book day website. Also I don't model reading which is terrible as I love reading (just no time). And no books for Christmas - the toys definitely take centre stage for ds and when I buy books in between he does take to them. We have a local book shop which we used to go to frequently so will visit again.
Thanks everyone!

FrightNightcirCurse Sun 03-Nov-13 20:22:58

We keep a couple books in the car too. Whenever he stays over at his gran's we pack books too (even though she has some). Basically they are always available.

Campaspe Mon 04-Nov-13 19:21:11

YY to always having books available for those empty moments. I have been known to have some in the car, my handbag, at relatives' houses etc. Also offer the chance to go to bed or have JUST ONE MORE STORY; some children will try anything to stay up a bit later.

NowBringUsSomeFuzzpiggyPudding Fri 13-Dec-13 21:47:18

I'm rather late to this, just been browsing this board.

This is going to sound weird (especially as I work in a library) but I've found that, although I honestly never thought I'd say so, there actually is a thing called "too many books" shock

If you've got absolutely loads (and that is subjective of course) - try reducing them. Get rid of anything that's not brilliant (I found an easy way to start culling our huge collection was to get rid of any TV-character-based books eg peppa pig as they just weren't as loved as 'proper' books as their stories are weaker). We have a much smaller collection now of books that are truly loved and valued with wonderful words and illustrations. It's honestly made bedtime nicer! Admittedly it gets a bit dull reading the same book over and over but it's worth it to see how much they love them.

You could also keep things fresh by dividing them into boxes and only having one box out at a time, so when you swap them it'll be more exciting.

My DCs never choose books in the library. They just stand there like lemons. I used to find this mortifying blush but then realised they are actually just overwhelmed with too much choice and can't see the wood for the paper trees. I'm often tempted to bring home loads for them but try and remind myself that less is more smile

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