We all know our children are supposed to do lots of reading, books come home in book bags, library visits are encouraged and book fairs visit school. Reading is what they’re supposed to do but what if your child would rather pick up their toys than a book? Reading doesn’t have to happen before bedtime from the pages of a book, we are surrounded by words and so there’s plenty of things to read that aren’t books.
Firstly let’s face it, some of the story books at school are a bit naff and, whilst children usually get to choose their book each week, for some children they’re picking the best out of a bad bunch. If your child has a penchant for the non-fiction section instead of Biff, Chip and Kipper, they may be reluctant to read what comes home in their book bag.
So here’s 10 things your child can read that aren’t books.
Children’s magazines can be expensive, and most kids just want them for the free toys, however if your child is keen to read them then they can be worth buying every now and then.
Playing computer games gets a lot of bad press but they can be useful for reading. Apps for tablets are cheap and often have stories or instructions that need to be read.
Turn a shopping trip into reading practice by giving your child the list, asking them to read what’s on it and help locate the item on the shelf.
Having your child write letters to grandma, a friend, the Easter bunny can encourage writing skills. Ask grandma or the friend to write back and your child can read the replies. Though you’ll have to practice your own creative writing skills if they’re hoping to get one from the Easter bunny!
Learn a bit about the world, plan a fantasy holiday and practice their reading at the same time.
Who doesn’t remember hours spent gazing longingly at the toy section of the Argos catalogue? Grab a copy and hopefully they’ll read some of the descriptions of their favourite toys.
Newspapers can add some variety, especially for older children. Obviously read it first and take out any stories that they might find upsetting, but if you have a child interested in sports? Give them the sports pages so they can read about their favourite team.
Cook with your child and put them in charge of reading the recipe. Reading practice that results in cake? Yes, please.
9. Road Signs
Place names, instructions for drivers, shop signs, road work signs, there’s lots of words all around us that we grown ups barely notice. Point them out and read as you walk.
10. Post-it Notes
Similar to encouraging your child to practice writing, Post-it Notes can help them practice reading. This time, you write the notes and leave them round the house as messages or reminders. Remind your child to put dirty clothes in the wash basket and practice their reading at the same time. Parenting win!
Do you have any other ideas of things to read that aren’t books?