Instilling a love of reading in your child truly is giving them a gift they will never outgrow. Books will open up a whole new world for your child while improving their thinking process and critical thinking skills. When you teach your child to read you are literally teaching them how to learn.
How to Encourage a Love of Reading
1. Start Young
Reading aloud to your baby is a wonderful shared activity you can continue for years to come — and it’s an important form of stimulation.
- teaches a baby about communication
- introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way
- builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills
- gives babies information about the world around them
- It doesn’t even matter what you are reading when they are very small. As long as you are interested in it they will pick up on that in your voice!
Eric Carle books were my all time favorite and I still enjoy reading them to my daughter!
2. Keep it fun
Reading needs to be seen as fun even for infants. Setting up a cozy reading area with a rocker or lots of pillows on the floor creates a laid back area no one wants to get up from. Keep baskets of board books down low where you child can easily find them. Baby books should be as easily grabbed as a rattle once your baby is sitting up and crawling around. No, they don’t have any idea what a book is for but they will be accustomed to them and associate them with enjoyment.
3. Make it social
Read to a child often but also let them see you reading. If your neighborhood as a library or bookstore check to see if they offer a storytime for kids. Most do, even for toddlers!
4. Introduce your child to authors of all types
Eric Carle, Richard Scary, Stan and Jan Bernstein, and Shel Silverstine were some of my favorites as a child. Not to mention Miss Spider! As I grew up I often sought out new authors at the encouragement of my mom and local librarians. Each author has a writing style and introducing different styles early encourages a love for literature and an understanding of different points of views. Yes, that’s important, even at an early age.
5. Bring books to life
Books on tape can be fun to play while your child plays on the floor or during nap/rest time. Many story books have stuffed animals or puppets. One of my favorites growing up was the Very Hungry Caterpillar Plush.
Spending time reading to your baby shows that reading is a skill worth learning. And, if infants and children are read to often with joy, excitement, and closeness, they begin to associate books with happiness — and budding readers are created.