As parents, we want our children to develop the ability to think. Thinking requires the mind to be constantly fuelled and re-fuelled by creative inputs. One of the best activities to revitalize the mind is by reading. But there are so many things children read, and also, so much that they have already read. It is a little challenge for them to remember everything they read. At the same time, we need to ensure comprehension and application of the learning gained through reading. Let us explore nine very interesting methods through which you can help your child get more out of reading as an activity. They will enhance your pleasure at the same time make the learning more permanent in your child`s mind:

    1. Mark passages and discuss : Encourage reading with a marker. Ask your child to mark passages which he finds inspiring and truly moving. When reading is over, you can revisit the selected passages. Ask your child what they liked about it and why they consider it important. You will also get to see how your child thinks, and perceives information.


    1. Do a picture collage : As a further activity, help your child to find pictures of the images which are depicted in the story. This helps to exercise their imagination and creative interpretation of what they read. Through this activity, you can help him to focus on details mentioned in the text. So if your child has read a particular classic, ask him to find pictures of the house in which he thinks the story takes place based on the description in the narrative. If your child has the gift of painting, encourage them to paint and express their feeling and mental images formed while reading the book.


    1. Character sketch : To enable your child to examine, appreciate and understand people`s behaviour, the activity of `character sketch` is very effective. It builds your child`s ability to analyze and express. Select three main characters from the story and ask your child to write a note on each of these characters. Emphasize on what he learned from the characters. It will help him to look for the good in people and learn from their goodness.


    1. Watch movie and theatrical adaptations : You would be able to find movie adaptations of many famous classics and novels. Let your child experience the story in a new medium further to reading it. It heightens mental involvement and retention, and also helps him to understand appreciate and critique art and literature.


    1. Write a review : Another good exercise for enhancing reading and understanding is by writing a review. A significant learning here would be for the child, to write an unbiased review. That teaches how to examine information in a matured way. People do get carried away and find it difficult to express objectively. A good reviewer is honest, sincere and unbiased. Help your child to develop these qualities of responsible readership as well.


    1. Write a new ending : An effective way to encourage lateral thinking in your child is by asking him to write an alternative ending to the story. Here children learn to think about `what could have been`. They learn to think of different possibilities in a given situation. It is an interesting way to train their minds for exploring beyond the present situation.


    1. Read the life and times of the author : To gain greater depths in understanding a book, a recommended method is to read the life and times of its author. There is great inspiration to be found as your child can learn how adversity and calamity can inspire man equally as beauty and nature do. Your child will also learn how man copes with life and its challenges through the gift of literature. In addition, you can identify and encourage reading on related topics.


    1. Retelling in a new setting : Adaptation is a very important necessity of living. If we can teach our minds to adapt, we will find it easier to adjust in a new and unfamiliar setting. You can attempt to teach adaptation to your child by asking him to re-tell the story in a different context: in a different country and cultural setting, in a different period of time, or even by simply changing the gender of the protagonist! Children will learn to understand that with the change in environmental setting, the story is bound to change. It will surely enable them to be more flexible and better adjusted as human beings.

  Discover the joy of reading!

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