Here are some great ways to encourage your sons to feel excited about books.
For most children, reading for pleasure starts with snuggly bedtime stories. There’s no need to stop this daily ritual once children can read the words themselves. Listening to stories is a great way to nurture a love of books. It also helps a child to access interesting content above their reading level. As they get older, take it in turns to read a sentence, page, or chapter each.
Adding jokes and misinterpreting the pictures for comic effect can hook some children in. Hearing the Hungry Caterpillar be rude about his meals, helps children associate books with laughing as well as learning.
The National Literacy Trust research found that eBooks make children keener, more confident readers, with the most potential to engage boys who don’t enjoy reading. If you are reluctant to add more screen time to the day, try graphic novels, poems, joke books, magazines, or comics – bite-sized texts can be more appealing than a traditional book.
Attention-grabbing content is vital – reluctant readers will abandon a book in seconds if they aren’t hooked. Seek out non-fiction books that link to your child’s existing passions, from fossils and football to snakes and space!
If your child loves collecting things, they might get a buzz from working their way through a series. The best recommendations come from other children – ask around on the playground and school, or find out which books have a waiting list in your local library. Books linked to films or TV shows can be a good starting point.