Newspapers are loaded with information of great educational value to children. But how can you encourage your child develop the habit of reading newspaper? Read on to know.
By Parama Gupta
No matter where you are or what you do, it is crucial to keep up with what’s happening around the world. Newspapers are a good way of keeping yourself informed and improving your vocabulary at the same time. So, it is important that you inculcate the habit of reading newspapers in your child from a young age.
But, most children don’t want to read newspapers. They find the matter-of-fact style of presentation in newspapers boring, and even exhausting, to read. But, by adopting a few innovative ideas, you can make reading newspapers one of your child’s favourite activities. And, once he gets into the habit, it will stay with him for a lifetime.
Here are a few ways you can encourage your child to read the newspaper every day:
1. Create a routine
Read newspapers with your child every day for an hour or two. The best time to do so is in the morning, as the mind is fresh and ready to absorb information more readily. Also, the knowledge of what happened around the world the day before will put your child at an advantage, which will make her feel confident and encourage her to read the newspaper more often. And, soon this will become a habit. If your child is too young to read the news by herself, then read out the day’s important news items, and explain them to her in age-appropriate language.
2. Identify your child’s interests
If you notice that your child is more interested in reading a particular section of the newspaper, then encourage him to spend more time reading that. For example, some children love to read everything written in the sports section, while others find the supplements interesting. Let your child read whichever section he likes the most. This will motivate him to read the newspaper every day and teach him to keep track of the news that are of interest to him. Gradually, you can draw his attention towards other topics such as politics or finance.
2. Encourage your child to make a newspaper scrapbook
Teach your child to make a scrapbook by putting together interesting articles, creative advertisements, comic strip series, and standalone photos published in the newspaper. This will not only make her pick up the newspaper frequently but will also give her a meaningful hobby to pursue.
3. Introduce your child to the fun section
Apart from reading serious news and articles, you can also show your child the fun side of a newspaper, such as sudoku, crossword, quizzes, puzzles and more. This will increase his engagement with the newspaper and he will consider newspaper reading to be an interesting activity. Give him company while he solves sudoku and the crossword puzzles. You can make this a family activity.
4. Integrate school learning with newspaper reading
You can use newspaper as an extension of your child text books. For example, you can select appropriate passages from the newspaper and give your child reading comprehension exercises. You can also teach grammar and do vocabulary-building exercises with her to help facilitate language development. Similarly, you can encourage your child to follow the science and technology section of the newspaper to increase her knowledge of what’s going on in the field of science.
5. Encourage your child to contribute
An effective way to make your child take interest in reading newspapers is by making him contribute to newspapers. If your child is in the age group of 6 to 10 years, then you should encourage him to regularly send entries to sections that invite contributions from children. Depending on your child’s interest and abilities, he can send in entries such as short stories, poems, drawings, and pictures of craft work. Older children can be encouraged to write letters to the editor on important civic and political issues. Also, you can motivate your child to participate in contests such as photography, report writing, quizzes and so on.
Help your child become a lifelong learner by developing in her a love for reading newspapers with these tips. This will also help her become a more socially aware and responsible citizen.
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