I wanted to share with you my top 5 tips for helping your child fall in love with reading. You might be pleased to discover you are doing many of these things already! And if you’re not? They are easy to implement. Here goes:
1. Let your child see you reading books for pleasure
When is the last time your child saw you reading a book for pleasure? I’m talking about an actual BOOK, not your iphone, a tablet or e-reader. Ultimately children will learn more from what you actually do than what you tell them to do, and so if you want them to read for pleasure, it’s important to model this for them.
2. Create pleasurable read aloud routines
This is probably the most important thing you can do to help your child create positive associations with reading! Keep in mind that reading doesn’t need to just happen at bedtime. Consider reading aloud during dinner or bath time. Reading together not only shows children that reading is fun and valuable, but it also serves to strengthen your bond.
3. Keep a wide selection of books accessible in your home
Research shows to access to a variety of books is an important factor when it comes to keeping kids’ minds sharp over the summer. Wondering how to expand your collection so that it includes various genres? Our printable Treasure Map (North America / Europe) is a fun way to make sure you have variety in your home library. As you acquire new books, help your child learn to take good care of them.
4. Allow children to select the books they read
Children become more interested in reading when they are encouraged to select the books they read. Creating a bookshelf at baby’s level and encouraging her to pick her own stories is a great way to raise a reader for life. Some parents forgo the shelves for a basket since babies tend to want to pull every book off a shelf! Either way, storing books where little hands can reach them is a great way to spark interest in reading.
5. Schedule “quiet reading time” each day
This is a tip straight from the preschool classroom! Teach children at an early age that looking at books quietly for a small period of time every day is part of their daily home routine. Not only is it great for their literacy development, but it will also save your sanity. This is especially great for transition times when you need to keep kids occupied. For instance, you can keep a basket of books in the kitchen so that your child can have “quiet reading time” as you prepare dinner.
How do you instill a love for reading in your child? Share your tips below!
Stefanie Grossman, M.S.Ed.
Global Program Director, Barefoot Books
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