Think of the last time you had a book that you couldn't put down. What was it about that moment that made you want to read?
Giving children a sneak peek of the story to come helps them access the narrative and gives them something to look forward to. If your child begins the story knowing that the main character is going to lose her favorite toy, discover a magical island or develop a superpower, then your child’s curiosity is more likely to be engaged. Read the blurbs on the back of books out to your child, or read the story yourself beforehand so you can drop exciting hints before storytime.
It is important to explore different genres with little readers. Non-fiction books are a powerful tool for engaging your child and getting them to read more. For example, a family trip to another country might lead to books about different cultures and languages. Keep a journal with a list of questions that your children ask, and bring them up the next time your child is selecting books to read.
There’s something magical about browsing through books and finding the one that speaks to you. As you browse, encourage your child to pick the book that piques their interest the most, and makes them wonder what will happen in the story or answer questions they’ve been asking. Of course, assigned reading will be a part of your child's academic experience, but nurturing an organic joy of reading is more important for young children.
The next time you want to encourage your child to read try asking them, "What are you wondering about?" and let their curiosity take the lead.