Encourage a lifetime love of reading by following these 10 tips to steal 15 minutes of reading time each day. The benefits will last your child a lifetime.
1. On car trips, point out and read interesting road signs and billboards, as well as personalised numberplates. Keep a few favourite books and books on tape for reading and listening on-the-go.
2. Read a good action story or tale of adventure to replace an evening television programme.
3. If you’re too tired to read aloud to your child, listen to a story on tape and turn the book pages together.
4. Go round your child’s room and name the objects there. As your child names each object, write it on a stick-on label and affix the label to the object. You can read the labels and add new items each time you play this game.
5. When your child asks to stay up a little longer, consider it a made-to-order fifteen minutes family reading opportunity.
6. Write notes and leave them in lunchboxes, on pillows, on notice boards etc. It promotes reading and fun, especially if a note says, “I have a surprise for you!”
7. Pack books when going somewhere with your child where you might have a long wait, such as the doctor’s surgery or the airport.
8. Bring home interesting reading material from work or shopping such as a story or comic strip clipped from the newspaper, a brochure, a greeting card, or even a fortune cookie from lunch.
9. If you work night shift or can’t get away from the office, keep a few children’s books at work. Call home during a break and read to your child.
10. Take time to talk about the books you read with your children. This helps to establish the concept that reading generates ideas, opinions and questions.