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10 tips to encourage reading in early childhood education

Leitura na Educação Infantil

Learning to read is like magically diving into a world where suddenly, as if by magic, you know what is written, as if you always knew and a blindfold came off your eyes. 

This is the feeling of children when they discover the function of those little letters, altogether always organizing themselves in different ways and indicating something that directs people. 

From an early age, children are exposed to the world of letters in all environments in which they circulate. This makes imagination and curiosity pulse trying to discover everything that is there and this discovery process is often a bit arduous to tread without the right incentives. 

It was thinking about this and the difficulties regarding the various possibilities of presenting the universe of reading to children, we separated 10 practical tips to encourage the practice of reading.

Check out now 10 valuable tips to encourage the reading of the little ones! 

1. Encourage contact with books

If possible, children should experience contact with books as babies. Of course, this contact must be made according to the possibilities of age and the interest that arises at each new stage of the child’s development process. 

Within the school environment, the initial contact with books can be used to stimulate children’s motor coordination, enabling interaction with different textures of materials, which are quite common in books designed for this phase, awakening the imagination from the environment in general.

2. Create a reading corner

Thinking about the reading environment, it must be properly organized, with furniture that is easily accessible by children, such as shelves suitable for their height, baskets and even reading mats so that they can have spontaneous contact and easy handling of books.

There’s nothing better than a cozy place to have a good read. This idea of coziness is no different for children, however, it must be treated with extra care to inspire young readers in the magical universe of stories.

Inside the classroom, the reading corner is an opportunity to encourage and delight young readers with the fantastic world of letters in their first school experiences.

That is why preparing a stable environment to be enjoyed in harmony by all and with the ability to carry out collective and individual readings is of great help to arouse the interest of children at this stage.

3. Be a reader

Some famous authors say that example is the best way to teach, if not the only way. Therefore, it is no different from the creation of the reading habit. 

Parents and teachers should demonstrate to children the practice of reading so that young readers feel that reading is something enjoyable.

When the child observes the parents or the teachers themselves in a moment of reading, the child understands that it is something gratifying and will certainly develop a taste for reading.

4. Read to the child

Reading to children should be a daily activity, both at home and in the school environment.

With that in mind, the adult should organize these moments, considering points such as:

  • The moment to perform the reading
  • The organization of the environment 
  • The selection of suitable materials that can attract children’s attention and lead to learning and fun.
  • The incentive to awaken the imagination. 

5. Talk about what has been read

Dialogue is something important in the lives of all of us. Conversations are another point of attention that children observe in the adults around them.

Who has never heard a child question an adult about something they heard and didn’t understand properly? Curiosity is common for them.

This curiosity can and should be used as a gateway to developing an interest in reading at this stage of life, awakening the capacity for dialogue and interpretation of situations. 

It is very good for adults to talk about something inspiring that can be found in reading, thus arousing an increasing interest in children.

6. Make reading enjoyable

Make reading to the child in a pleasant way, arousing interest in the story, giving importance to the facts read. 

The act of reading must be contextualized. The world of imagination contained in the story and the connection with the real world makes reading increasingly pleasurable for the child. 

The practice of reading with children must be dynamic so that there is fluidity and the natural expression of their needs and feelings or simply to delight in the world of imagination that is so characteristic of this phase.

7. Encourage creativity

Children watch us all the time. They observe the behavior of parents, teachers, and even their little schoolmates. 

We have all witnessed a child playing at imitating someone in their social cycle, such as their teachers, for example. This is common and comes with experience.

Reading is an art and, necessarily, it is not entirely linked to mastering the coding technique learned at school, but rather to the awakening of imagination and creativity.

So, when you give your child a picture book and he/she creates a story from what he/she sees there, reading is present in that moment.

In reading, this stimulus comes from curiosity. Reflection on what was read or told to his/her in a conversation can arouse interest at the end of that story.

Also, leaving a part of the story for another time is a good technique to encourage creativity. Another point is to create small pauses in the telling of the story, instigating the imagination.

8. Respect the child’s interests

A very important tip in this process of encouraging reading in early childhood education is to respect the interests of children. 

This respect must be given from the early stages, where reading is done at home at the beginning of the babies’ lives and, especially, during the school stage. 

Children have steps to make better use of each material presented to them, which is no different when we are talking about books. 

So, think about this when choosing a story for the child, think about the use that he/she will have on that subject, about the understanding that he/she will awaken by that textual genre, by the apparent images in the story, and by the interaction that children’s books have with little readers.

Thus, we must present materials of different genres to children so that they develop the ability to choose and learn to demonstrate their preferences from an early age.

9. Promote different contacts with books

We already know that at home or in the classroom, contact with books is extremely important to stimulate a taste for reading in children. However, this contact can be extended to other environments such as visits to the school’s library, where children can have access cards and contact with an environment that promotes an idea directed towards books.

10. Use technology for reading

The use of technology is a reality in everyone’s life and it is no different with children. What we can choose is how to use such a tool to add values and healthy habits.

The encouragement of reading is certainly a healthy way to keep children’s technological contact using applications and varied imagery and sound resources that will increasingly encourage the practice of reading.

How to encourage children’s reading in practice?

Given these tips, you may ask yourself: how to practically stimulate children’s reading? I will need to know which books can be used for reading, respecting children’s interests.

Here are some possible readings that can be done for them, both at home and in the school environment and that stimulate the little ones in this important phase!

Oh! Bet on textured books or that creates interaction between the child and the story told. They love it!

Check out a list of books that run through different plots and are suitable for children of different ages: 

  • Hora de dormir na fazenda – Uma história de ninar com fantoches de dedo (Yoyo Books)
  • Princesas escalam montanhas? (Rafaela Carvalho)
  • Ninjas cuidam do jardim? (Rafaela Carvalho)
  • A ovelha Lana (Vale das letras)
  • Woof says dog (Kathryn Smith)
  • The tree little pigs – Puzzle (Blu Publisher)
  • Pra mim e pra você – Um livro, dois olhares (Rafaela Carvalho)
  • The Bear’s Song (Benjamin Chaud)
  • O passeio (Pablo Lugones)
  • Quebra-cabeças (Diego Bianki)

The school is an extremely important environment to arouse the child’s interest in reading, therefore, he/she must be inserted in this environment that provides global learning and focused on respect for others. 

If you are looking for an environment that encourages your child to read, come and visit St. Nicholas School, the best private kindergarten in São Paulo, with an international teaching proposal and an inspiring environment to welcome your little reader.

Click here to get your child admitted to St. Nicholas School right now!

Author

  • St. Nicholas School

    St. Nicholas School is a school with an international education with the aim of developing responsible, confident and caring citizens. Teaching students to ask the right questions, to get to the right places for them. You can find St. Nicholas School in Pinheiros and Alphaville.

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