Exploring a Child’s Imagination to Inspire a Love for Reading

I have often experienced how imagination plays a major role in the way kids process, learn and acquire curiosity. When children experience something new they often internalize that experience by drawing, playing make-believe, creating games, or making up stories.

My middle son is a perfect example of this. After his first trip to the aquarium at about age 7 he ran into the house and began drawing. For days he drew pictures of sharks, whales and fish. I realized that drawing was his way of expanding his imagination and of connecting with the amazing world of the sea. The more he drew the more motivated he got to learn about sea creatures, read books about them and watch Discovery programs about them.

Another time, after a family trip to England, he started drawing castles, cathedrals and medieval knights. His imagination got so piqued that he begged me to take fencing lessons. (Today he is an star fencer on his college fencing team.)

Kids explore their world and deepen their curiosity by exercising their imagination. How can we use the power of their imagination to develop a love for reading? Deepen your child’s reading experience by incorporating reading as an extension of play. Encourage your kids to play make believe, put on skits, using characters and stories from books they read. Use books as substrate for arts and craft projects. Take your kids to the theater or movies related to books they read. Make books a part of your child’s imaginative life and surely that will help develop thier love for reading.

Anyone have their own thoughts and experiences about how to inspire kids with a love for reading? Please share.

Susan Chodakiewitz

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