Parents often ask 'How can I make my home reading-friendly for my child? How do I ensure my child has an inspiring environment to read at home?'
Well, it’s not too difficult - and neither is it very costly. Here are some easy ways you can make it happen:
1. Have books out in the open or in a way that they are visible
One of the biggest mistakes we make is hide our books in cupboards and drawers. When you can see a book in the open, you are always reminded of its presence. You’ll be more motivated to pick up a book if it’s in front of you.
For instance, here’s a photo of my book case in Bombay - it’s a closed shelf but with a glass door. Whenever I would enter my house, this would be the first thing I’d see. A silent reminder asking me, ‘Hey, want to read a book today?’
2. Make book cleaning / dusting a part of your child’s weekly activities
Cleaning a book always makes you feel closer to it. The physical touch is proof of connection, and often, children are tempted to go through books while cleaning them. It’s also a great bonding activity.
Breaking usual flow, I am inserting the Freadom Parent Tip Of The Week here. This comes from new mom Ritika Bhandari Parekh who’s also an avid reader and writer.
As a book lover and an avid reader, whenever I clean my bookshelf, I end up flipping the pages of some of my books and reading my favourite excerpts. The sentiments evoked are strong enough to well up one’s eyes with happy or sad thoughts. For every reader, each book has its own story. Birthdays, anniversaries, the joy of motherhood or the dream of a perfect partner — all are treasured in our memory, especially if a book is involved.
3. Create well-lit spaces for reading at home
Ensure that the places your child frequents at home - it can be a favourite chair or his/her bed - are well-lit, and preferably close to a window. Well-lit spaces induce energy in readers, and inspire us to read compared to dingy, dark spaces.
4. Share quiet reading time together
Bonding with your child in silence is one of the most important yet under-rated activities. Spend just 30 minutes a week sitting in a well-lit space of your house, as part of a silent reading session with your child. Let him/her pick a book of their choice while you pick one of yours. After the 30 mins, spend 10 mins sharing your reading experience with each other. Your child won’t forget these 30 mins for years to come!