Help Your Child Love to Read

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Fostering a love for reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child!

It’s actually a gift for both of you. Teaching them the wonders of reading means you get to spend more quality time together. Since children grow up so fast, make sure to cherish each page-turning moment.

It’s never too early to start reading to them. Nor are they too old to be read to.

And you can read almost anywhere. Today’s technology makes books readily available, which means there are more opportunities to share the magic of the written word.

One of the best ways to help children become interested in reading is to model it. By the way, if you happen to say, “I’ll be right there. I just need to finish this chapter,” while engrossed in a story, don’t be surprised if they do the same thing when you call them to dinner. 

Do you want more cuddles with your kids? Then start a family reading time. Each day, sit down and read together. What works best for your family? While they’re eating their after-school snack? Or maybe in the morning or after dinner.

And, of course, a bedtime story is a must!

Make sure to have books in each room and every vehicle. Allow your children to handle the books: touch, taste, feel, see, smell. Teach them how to respect books and properly care for them.

Speaking of smell, nothing smells as good as a library or bookstore. It’s the smell of adventure and wonder. Make sure to visit both regularly.

From time to time, mix-up the type of books in your home. Have stories for different seasons or holidays. Or maybe choose an ‘Author of the Month.’ How about including activities designed around the books, such as dressing up like the characters? 

Introduce your children to a variety of reading genres:

  • Joke books
  • Guinness Book of World Records
  • Graphic novels
  • National Geographic Kids
  • How-to books
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
  • Picture books
  • Poetry
  • Folklore
  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Realistic fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Biography
  • Nonfiction

If you’re unsure what books to have available, ask their teacher, their friends, the local or school librarian (excellent sources), or choose an award-winning book from the Caldecott Medal for Illustration or Newbery Medal for writing.

Your child should be a part of the reading process:

  • Let them pick out the book – Even though it might drive you crazy, reading the same book over and over is good for kids
  • Teach them how to turn the page
  • Ask questions, “What does Brown Bear see?” or “What do you think will happen next?”
  • Let them hold the book
  • Take turns reading a page
  • If they want to skip to the exciting parts, let them

When your child begins to read on their own, continue to read to them. There is no rule that says you have to stop.

Encourage your child to read to others – younger siblings, stuffed animals, or visit a retirement home and read to the residents.

Read a book series to your child that’s at a higher reading level than their current one. Chances are before you get to the last book in the series, your child will be able to read it to you. And, after you finish that series, start a new one with a more challenging reading level. 

Learning to love to read at an early age leads to a fuller life. There are so many benefits. So, open a book and share the wonderful world of reading with your child.

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