"I'm bored!" mumbles the child, lying with his head on the shoulder of the parent. After enumerating a number of play options, it occurs to you that you have read a lot yourself as a child and suggests: "Why don't you read a book? "Your aunt gave you such a nice book."
"I don't feel like reading." Says the child, slurping discontentedly into the room. You may be familiar with scenes similar to this one. But the joy of reading has many advantages for children.
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Table of contents:
- Encouraging children through reading
- Book recommendations for children under 3 years
- Book recommendations for children under 5 years
- Recommended books for children between 6 and 8
- Recommended books for children between 9 and 11
- A few tips to encourage your child to enjoy reading
Encouraging children through reading
Your cognitive abilities are enhanced. Children learn to develop images to the words they say or read. They have to open up connections and concentrate. Social skills are also strengthened. It has been found that people who read (including children) develop more empathy. By getting to know many characters in the books, getting to know their thoughts or the reaction of others, they learn to assess emotions better.
Apart from the educational value of books, reading has another advantage at school and in the world of work. The saying: "He who can read has a clear advantage" is justified. Through frequent reading, one's own language is formed. Whoever reads a lot, constantly expands his vocabulary, improves his expression and can grasp increasingly difficult texts. Spelling also benefits from reading. Even maths lessons become easier. Because from the second grade onwards, pupils already encounter text or factual tasks.
Anyone who has ever worked in tutoring or otherwise given tutoring in any other way will know that often the completion of a task fails because of the task itself. If you cannot understand the text of the exercise, you will not be able to make a calculation. Those who understand texts and can use language will also have better chances in the professional world.
Another point, and in my opinion a huge advantage that I would like to mention at this point, is the active reduction of stress. Reading alone for 15-30 minutes a day, relaxes body and mind and is similar to a meditation in many phases. The reason is easy to explain. The body works all day long to absorb and filter many stimuli simultaneously. Through the media (which do not necessarily have to be bad!), such as television, game console, mobile phone or even radio, you get a concentrated load of information that the brain has to process.
Not only the media are external stimuli, but also contact with teachers in class, friends and family are stimuli that need to be processed. Children in particular find it even more difficult to filter all the impressions they collect during the day. These are not basically bad impressions. The value of the media should not be talked down or the quality of the lessons questioned! The point is that reading gives body and mind a time-out from stimulus currents. Because in the time of reading there is only the inner voice reading the text. External stimulation is faded out and the body relaxes by adopting a comfortable posture. All in all, your child can only benefit.
Book recommendations for children under 3 years
In the best case, start as early as possible with your child to develop a love of books. Because there are already great books for children under the age of three. Feel-good books or books that can also be put in the mouth are popular. Some have a small hand puppet integrated which can be moved when reading aloud. If you not only practice words with your child, but also quietly tell three or four sentences to each page or picture, your child can get used to listening at an early age.
My book recommendations (german only) for this age category up to 3 would be:
- Wenn der Wald erwacht von Sandra Grimm
- Sooo viele Tiere! Mein lustiger Such- und Ratespaß von Heather Tekavec
- Komm, lass dich trösten von Miriam Cordes
Book recommendations for children under 5 years
At the latest at kindergarten age, from three to five years, vocabulary develops and children become more inquisitive. At this age, the enjoyment of books can be well encouraged. Especially short stories with animals are popular at this age.
Stories about everyday situations are also gladly heard. Books with topics like: Going to the toilet (like der Klokönig), the love of mum and dad or of bucking (like Achtung, die Motz-Monster kommen! Von Susan Niessen und Betina Gotzen-Beek), help the children to identify with the books and to better understand everyday situations. They can open a conversation about difficult situations or offer the opportunity to report their own experiences.
book recommendations for this age category would be 3 to 5:
- Der Apfelkuchendieb von Michael Engler
- Franklins fliegende Buchhandlung von Jen Campbell
- Wenn ich wütend bin von Nanna Neßhöver
Recommended books for children between 6 and 8
For most children, school begins at the age of six. It is an exciting time and the adults start talking about learning to read. Between the ages of six and eight, children learn to read for themselves. Each child has its own learning pace. Especially as reading beginners, whole books, like the little witch (very popular), are not yet on. It is recommended to read books with several short stories. Syllable book stories, picture-word stories or books that can be read together (one page with large letters for the child, one page with more text for the adult) are suitable to get used to reading.
At this age children develop their own taste in reading. This means that comics or magazines can also arouse interest in reading. Some children prefer non-fiction books, other horse stories and the next superhero stories. Try to find the interests with your child to increase and/or maintain the fun of reading.
Further book recommendations for children from 6 to 8 would be:
- Voll super, Helden! Von Rüdiger Bertram
- Die Spürnasenbande und der Fahrradklau
- Flo und Valentina - Ach, du nacht-schwarze Zwölf! Von Lena Hach
Recommended books for children between 9 and 11
Between the ages of nine and eleven, the social environment and hobbies come to the fore. Your child wants to become more independent and family is no longer the only anchor. Therefore topics such as friends, hobbies or school play a big role in the choice of books. While some get lost in sports magazines, others start to read their first "thick hams". Multi-part books can now become interesting. Especially popular are multi-part books like Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or the silver trilogy by Kerstin Gier.
Book recommendations in this age category would be up to 11 years (There are several volumes of the listed books):
- Gregs Tagebuch von Jeff Kinney
- Liliane Susewind von Tanya Stewner
- Das magische Baumhaus von Mary Pope Osborne
A few tips to encourage your child to enjoy reading
But the right choice of book is not enough. What if the kid won't touch a book. Here are a few tips that can awaken the joy of reading.
- Reading rituals
Find a common reading time during the day. In the beginning they can read a story. Later they could read a story together or their child could read the story to them together. By reading together, reading is automatically associated with security. Things that we associate with something positive, we encounter more openly.
- The personal library
If there are places in your home where there are books everywhere, your child will be curious. If there are places where he can reach them himself, he is more likely to grab one and start leafing through it.
- A reading place
You can create a reading place in the children's room or in your living room. In this way, your child will realize that reading is something special if he or she is given an extra place for it. If the reading corner is cozy to that, your child gets a great retreat.
- Set an example
Read a book in front of your child. Show your child that you enjoy reading. That way he will find a connection to books faster.
- Talking about books
Talk to your child about what you have read. This arouses interest and can increase the enthusiasm for reading.
- Excitement when reading aloud
When they read a story, they try to create moments of tension. They do this by playing with the volume or taking longer breaks.
Show your child recognition when he or she has read the first story alone or the first book.
- Read what you want
As already mentioned, children quickly develop their own taste. Even in comic books or magazines there are enough letters to read. By the way, there are great reading tips or interactive e-books that can be attractive for children. Anything that encourages your child to read is allowed!
Make a bookmark together. Maybe with the name on it or a hero it likes.
- Points game
You can turn the reading process into a points game. For example, after five minutes there is one point, after ten minutes there are two points, and so on. When your child has reached a certain number, they go together for ice cream or to the swimming pool. There are no limits to their creativity.
- Let the child read aloud
No matter where they are, they integrate reading into their everyday lives. The child can read a cooking recipe or the street sign. Especially in zoos or museums, reading aloud is a great way to learn more about what they have seen and to talk about it.
These are certainly not all possibilities that will give your child the joy of reading. In addition, every child is different and jumps at different methods or not. Do not be discouraged if a trick does not work or the book you bought turns out to be the wrong one.
Developing the joy of reading is a process that does not work from one moment to the next. Allow yourself and your child the time it needs. If you have discovered the joy, then I wish you a lot of fun in the thousands of worlds you are now allowed to explore.
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