Want to share your love of reading with your grandkids? Here are the best ways to help encourage bonding time and a love of books in young kids.
Reading bedtime stories is the earliest and easiest way to foster a life-long love of books. Let your grandchildren bring their favorite books with them to show you, or keep a selection at your home that they’ll look forward to returning to. It’s lovely to share some of the tales you read as a youngster too.
Keep them engaged by asking them questions throughout, trying to make them think about the characters and the story, or look for details in the pictures.
Reading isn’t only about books. Encouraging them to read comics, magazines and even board games with written instructions are all good ways to boost their vocabulary on top of stories. If they’re building a craft project, encourage them to read the instructions themselves if they can manage it.
Don’t force them if they’re reluctant, but perhaps let them choose a new book from a library or bookshop as a treat, snuggle up with a hot chocolate and read it together. If you can afford it, perhaps give them pocket money that’s only to be spent on books.
Introduce them to your local bookseller or librarian – they might have great suggestions for new titles that your grandchildren will love.
If they have a particular hobby or interest — sports, crafts, animals, etc. — try to find non-fiction books that will help them learn more, or even novels that feature their hobby.
Turn spelling into games. If you have a bare patch of earth in the garden, call out words for them to spell in the mud with a stick; bake fairy cakes and write difficult words on the top in icing, or even play a traditional game of ‘hangman’.
Let them borrow your e-reader. If you have a Kindle or other e-reader, it might be a useful tool for your grandchildren if they’re learning to read. Sometimes being able to increase the size of words, or click through to a dictionary, can be easy ways to boost their vocabulary.
When they are old enough to read for themselves, you might ask them to read to you. Not only will it transport you back to your own childhood, but they’ll be learning how to sound out tricky words with you there to guide them. Aside from the educational benefits, it’s also a great way to stay involved in their hobbies and interests as they grow older.
Let them see you enjoying your own books. Children love to mimic the behavior of their parents and grandparents, and seeing you getting pleasure from reading is sure to help them form a good impression about the power of words.
Discuss the books they’re reading in school and read them yourself so you can have a proper discussion about it — this of course gets much more interesting the older they get, and it might introduce you to some wonderful new titles too.
This story was written by our sister site, Yours.co.uk.