I love books, and it has always been important to me to raise kids who also love to read. Most kids don’t just love reading without a little push in that direction from mom and dad. You have to be intentional about raising readers if you want them to be lifelong readers.
Tips For Raising Readers
Here are some things I’ve done to foster my kids’ love of reading.
Read Every Day From The Beginning
Even before my kids were old enough to know what a book was, I started reading to them every day. It’s important to make it part of your daily routine. I did read a lot of baby books, but I also snuggled with them and read whatever book I was reading out loud. Being exposed to the words is great for language acquisition in general. As they get older, you can be more intentional about reading books that are tailored for their age and interests.
Don’t Just Read At Bedtime
As your kids get older, you will probably find yourself reading a story at night. That’s a great thing, but it’s important to also read during the day, when pleas of “One more story, Mommy!” can be allowed. It’s a great opportunity to bond. It’s also a great opportunity to be a little more rambunctious with your reading (use funny voices, let them make up a story, etc).
Be Prepared To Read Their Favorites Over And Over
Kids love repetition, and this is very clearly seen during reading time. When your kids fall in love with a book, they will ask you to read it again and again. Do it! The repetition helps them to understand the story and how words work together.
Show Them How Much You Love Books
Stock your house with books! Shelve kids books low to the ground in multiple rooms, so they have constant access to their favorites. But don’t neglect those taller shelves – it’s important that you model reading for your children. It helps for them to see that mom and dad have their own books and that they catch you reading them.
Let Them Choose Books
Visits to the library and bookstore are very important. Let your kids choose books that they are excited to read. Don’t worry so much when they are little that they are choosing the “right” kind of books. It’s okay if your little ones are most excited about the pictures, or if they only want to read books about fairies. You can sneak in more literary things as you go, but reading time shouldn’t feel like a chore. Most importantly: have fun!
Jessica — Mom of Sophie & Jake