Reading does not have to mean a book.
This is something I learned over my time studying Children’s Education, and is sometimes an idea easily lost when you’re so focussed on encouraging a child to read. The first image almost all children and adults will conjure up when discussing reading is a book, either a picture book or book filled with text. However I believe reading is so much more than a book.
Here are nine other things a child can ‘read’ just for fun, enabling them to develop key skills without even realising.
Reading a menu in a restaurant
Reading a magazine - any magazine! There are ones about fishing, caravans, basketball, gardening…anything that might pique their interest, try a magazine.
Reading the instructions for a board game or blogs/tips for games consoles.
Read a recipe when baking or cooking at the weekend, could they read out the method whilst you’re preparing the ingredients?
If they are slightly younger, reading number plates when on car journeys and exploring phonetic sounds.
Retailer catalogues, for example the Next directory or the Argos catalogue
You or a relative could send them a letter or a postcard with a message or even a little story.
Comic Books or graphic novels
Jokes from a joke book, or online
If your child is more interested in facts, explore non-fiction books like the Guinness World Record Book, an Encylopedia, or as mentioned above a magazine instead.
Every child is individual and will have their own interests. When it comes to reading for pleasure it; is so important we give them the freedom to read whatever they want to and develop their own taste and preferences. This will only aid them to continue a passion for reading into adulthood and allow them the choice to read what they want, purely because they want to.