It’s that time of year again. Parents everywhere are perusing red-and-green-themed websites and bow-bedecked store windows as they prepare to plunge into the frenzy of holiday gift buying. If your kids are like most, they’ve helpfully supplied you with a wish list featuring toys, video games, clothing items, and more. If you’re like most parents, though, you’d like to supplement those items with a few meaningful gifts of your own choosing.
Give your children the gift of reading!
If you can spark a love of reading in your children, you will be giving them a gift that will serve them well in school and in life. And if you choose books with consideration, you can maximize the odds that your children will read their gifts cover-to-cover—and ask for more!
Children need only a few positive reading experiences to get hooked on books—and you have a built-in advantage during the holidays.
This time of year is so thrilling for kids that giving them a book now—as opposed to some other time during the year—makes that book seem more exciting and special. If you play your cards right, the holidays elevate the status of the book, and by association, reading itself.
Book ownership is important for kids. That’s because owning books goes hand in hand with a love of reading—something that’s increasingly lacking amongst youngsters, but is very important.
Studies show children who love reading are most successful in school. Later in life, readers have better job prospects, enjoy more professional success, and are more socially and civically involved in their communities.
If you’re ready to begin book shopping, read on for eight things to consider when giving the gift of reading:
Paper or plastic? These days, the word “book” doesn’t necessarily denote a paper-and-ink object. It can also refer to a digital file on an e-reader! As a parent, it’s important to think about which format to buy. Neither is inherently better than the other. What’s important is that your child gets into reading, period—whether she’s looking at a page or a screen! However, one format might be better suited to your particular child.
Here are several things Miller suggests you keep in mind when making this decision:
- Don’t assume that gadgets are the only way to go, or worry that print books will soon be obsolete. While there is a focus on gadgets these days, elevators didn’t put stairs out of business.
- Not all e-readers are created equal. In addition to enabling users to read books, some support web browsing, game playing, and more. You know your child and will have a good idea of how these extra capabilities might affect him. If you think he’ll be easily distracted, choose a device that’s an e-reader only and doesn’t have all the other bells and whistles.
- Ask your child what she prefers! My daughter was very clear about the fact that she preferred physical books to an e-reader. Yours, too, might also have firm preferences already in mind.
Match interest to ability. Finding a book your child will enjoy isn’t always an easy task under the best of circumstances, but it can be especially difficult if your child reads below grade level. If he believes many of the books that he can easily read are “boring,” “stupid,” or “for babies,” he’ll develop a negative opinion of reading in general. Read More