Not all little people are avid readers straight off the bat. Learning a skill is hard. If your small person finds reading challenging or hasn’t yet found a book that really piques their interest, then it can be a struggle to encourage a love of stories. So we’ve rounded up 5 tips to get your hesitant readers hooked on books.
1. Make reading part of your regular daily schedule
We get it! Between swimming training, maths tutoring, and music lessons, it can be challenging to find the time to encourage the young people in your life to pick up a book. We believe reading should be pleasurable, not a chore. Try and make 15-30 minutes before bed time the designated reading time – a time where you snuggle up in bed together to pick up a book. Don’t be afraid to read aloud to them, even if they’re reading by themselves! They will cherish this time with you – away from screens, with your full attention.
2. Find a topic that will interest them
We get feedback ALL the time from parents, grandparents, teachers and carers that George the Farmer has FINALLY been a reading catalyst for the reluctant readers in their lives! George’s adventures on the farm are very relatable to country kids – while offering a peek into a new and exciting world for kids living in the city. Learning about all aspects of food and farming – from crops to honey to dairy to agronomy – is an enormous source of attention-grabbing interest.
3. Chat about the story as you read
This is a great tip to maintain interest throughout the book. You could pause through the story and ask your child questions. What do you think about that? Have you heard of this sort of thing happening before? What’s your favourite part of the story? Or simple yes/no questions, or asking them to point out different characters can keep the interest high. You could even interject with your own little stories throughout, of times you’ve experienced something similar to the adventures of Dr Ruby and George the Farmer!
4. Keep the character’s voices different
Let your inner actor out! Bring different voices to each character to keep the interest ticking for kids following along. Bonus points if you can bring different Aussie twangs to each member of George the Farmer’s family!
5. Before you get started, check out the cover
Generate a little bit of hype for reading by looking at the book's cover and discussing what you can see. Each George the Farmer book has fabulous, colourful illustrations to draw interest and intrigue. By dissecting the cover, you’re helping children become invested in the story and welcome their contribution.