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Parents Panel: What's one thing you've tried to get your kids to read more?

Kids’ book clubs and reading to them from day one – our panel share their advice for nurturing young bookworms.

parents-panel-banner-final1.1 - Copy Source: TheJournal.ie

AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way.

A love of reading is a gift for life – but what if your child just has no interest? Some kids are natural bookworms, while for others, a love of reading doesn’t come so naturally.

Luckily, there are plenty of things parents can do to help grow and nurture a fondness for reading in their kids.

This week, we’re asking our panel…

What’s one thing you’ve tried to get your kids to read more?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly Source: TheJournal.ie

Don’t be afraid to try enforced reading time: Nowadays, the kids would never take their heads out of their screens they had the choice, so enforced reading time throughout the week is a staple of the household routine. The real trick was finding a series of books or an author that the kids liked and could get hooked on – David Walliams and James Patterson have been long time favourites.

- Ken Hyland 

I keep things familiar with books featuring TV characters: My eldest two (now 22 and 17) loved reading from an early age. Ellie Mae (aged three) is always looking to use the computer instead, so I have had to reinvent book usage for her. We do sticker books together, or we read books featuring characters from TV shows that she knows.

- Denise Cumiskey

shutterstock_400185088 Source: Shutterstock/PAKULA PIOTR

We read to him (when we can get him to sit still): Charlie is only two, so obviously can’t read yet, but he’s one of those kids who is always on the move and rarely sits still. I’m conscious that sitting down to read a book isn’t going to be his natural first choice, so we’re trying to read to him more in general, to get him into books. Picking books about his favorites – like dinosaurs or trucks – seems to help grab his attention for at least a few seconds! Lift-the-flap or touch-and-feel books work can work as well.

- Kait Quinn 

I read to them from a mix of books: My children are just three and four years of age so we read them a bit of everything right now: it’s mostly Julia Donaldson, fairytales and Where’s Wally in our house – plus any random stories that we pick up in bookshops and the library.

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- Denise C

We read to him from day one: Our son is four and can’t read himself yet, but he absolutely loves books. We have always felt that it was very important to read to him, right from was born. I have inadvertently memorised The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman as I read it to him for so long. He loves to “read” books to his stuffed animals, or our cat (who doesn’t always appreciate it!). I think it’s about fostering enjoyment of the stories, trying to do voices and talking about them afterwards… even if that leads to in-depth discussions about the best colour for a dinosaur.

- Olly Keegan

shutterstock_528426004 Source: Shutterstock/Skolova

Our nine-year-old is in a book club with schoolmates: Since our youngest was a baby, we have had a constant stream of books into the house. Our four kids now have a great (and still growing) collection that suits all ages. Our eldest child belongs to a monthly book club hosted by a schoolmate’s mum. It’s a great initiative and doubles as a playdate too. She’s also taken over the job of bedtime reading to her younger siblings!

- Ross Boxshall 

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