In a techno-mad world, it can be tricky to champion the old-fashioned book to our little ones, but with With World Book Day just around the corner (on April 23) now is the perfect time to open their eyes to the joys of reading. To help you along the way, we get some top tips from Phillipa Milne, manager of the Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival which lands in Hong Kong in November. Now are you sitting comfortably?
There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book, whether you are a child, teen, or adult — not to mention the crucial importance of regular reading for our children’s cognitive development. If you are finding it hard to keep the technology at bay, try out my six top tips — you’ll have a house full of bookworms before you know it!
1. Make reading part of your children’s daily routine
Teeth are brushed, faces are washed, and pajamas are on. It’s time to read. Try to set aside some time every day for reading, even if it’s only five minutes, and try to make it the same time every day so there is a set routine.
2. Bring books to life
Read aloud to your children and ask them to read to you or their younger siblings too. Make reading interactive by taking turns in reading chapters or voicing characters.
3. Try lots of different books
Explore a wide range of genres and encourage your child’s own interests. Whatever your child is into, there will be a book about it! Remember that all reading is good, whether it’s comics, graphic novels, blogs, or magazines. And make sure your children have access to characters they can relate to.
4. Library days
Make use of your local libraries, and make visits a regular and fun family outing. Give your child their own library card and suggest they choose their own books, whilst you choose yours!
5. Talk, talk, talk
Encourage your children to have an opinion on their most recent read, and to think critically about the books and storylines. Who was their favourite character? What did they think of the setting? Was there anything they didn’t like about the story?
6. Reading challenges
Check out whether your children’s school or local library is running any reading challenges, and sign up. Websites like Goodreads are great for setting reading targets, logging books, and writing reviews. Make it a family affair and get everyone to sign up!
The Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival is packed with exciting events for kids and adults to enjoy. Keep your eyes peeled on Localiiz for more updates later this year.
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