As you may know by now, books and reading are a major focus of this blog. All of us mamas here believe that instilling a love of reading into our children is extremely important. We do acknowledge that some kids (and teens and adults) just aren’t big readers. But we are trying to do everything we can to help our kids love books and reading. Here are some of my tips, coming from my personal experience with my kids:
- Start from Day 1
It’s never too early to read to your baby. I loved watching my husband read to our baby boys. Reading to babies encourages language development, parental bonding, and also gets them familiar with books.
- Don’t stress about the books staying in good condition
This is a funny one for me. My husband jokingly (but kind of not jokingly) asked me the other day, “why are our books shredded unlike anyone’s I’ve ever seen???” It’s true, our kids are rough on books. We teach them to be soft with books; but the more they’re around the books the more likely they are to damage the books in some way. And I’m actually okay with that! It may sound crazy, but it makes my heart happy that our books are so well-loved. I used to tell my husband, when our first baby was starting to play with books, to let him chew on them and rip them a little. Of course I would intervene when it seemed like he was trying to actually EAT the paper… But I worried that if we told him “no” and took books away from him that he would want to play with them less. Books have always been familiar friends to my babies.
- Have plenty of books at quiet time/bedtime
Read to your child every single day. It doesn’t even have to be several books per day. At least at bedtime, make it routine to read books together. Have books readily available in your kid’s room and in their play areas.
- Take them to the library
Libraries are amazing community resources! You and your child can pick out books, play, and participate in story times.
- Ask questions while you read
One of my favorite things to do is to pause and wait for my kids to finish a sentence from a book they know well. It shows that they’re absorbing everything they hear! Asking questions while reading (like “what do you think the dinosaur will do next?”) encourages good reading comprehension and helps create an interactive reading experience.
I am so grateful for books!!!
What are some ways you are raising a reader?