#1 – Make Reading SUPER Easy.
Keep books at your child’s finger tips – EVERYWHERE they are: at home, in the car, and in your purse when out and about. “Book baskets” are a super cute idea I have seen implemented well – put baskets filled with books in all your children’s play spots.
It’s never too early to have books around the house for your child. There are great books that are durable, even chewable, that help your child feel it is natural to have books in their hands from a very early age.
When they get older, create a special place for reading or a reading nook that is quiet, out of the way, and comfy. Your child will love having that space to crawl into another world (in a book)! I have seen so many cool ideas on Pinterest that are functional and not all that expensive. I love the new idea of rain gutter book shelves! It can even just be a chair. Giving your child their own bookshelf can even help it be “their” space. My children have several and often ask for more.
#2 – Make Reading FUN!
I’m sure you just said “DUH!” But we are all busy people and carving out that time to read can some feel more like a chore. Reading aloud is not only an escape for your child, but it can also be a break for you from the real world. Take a breath, Enjoy the book. And create a strong bond between you and your child. They will never forget this time with you.
No one needs to give you permission to be silly. Stories are meant to be entertaining. Take on characters, changes voices, uses gestures or funny faces. Some fun ways to engage our little readers including:
- Ask questions: what does your child think of this problem/solution? Would they do it differently? Which part was their favorite? So many questions…
- Every book can be a teaching aid. Colors, words, pictures, life lessons, all depending on age of course.
- You really need the break? Let your child “read” the story to you. It is always fun to hear their version of the story especially if they don’t know how to read yet.
- Pick interactive books: Find books that keep your kid’s hands busy! Lift the Flap books encourage kinaesthetic learning. Some of my favorites are All Better where you can stick reusable stickers on the creature’s boo boos, the Where Happiness Lives where a mouse learns about perspective and enjoying what he has in life, or Night Sounds which plays the sounds of the night time (perfect bedtime story). These titles make reading even more fun because kids are fully engaged in each story!
If your child has a tough time sitting with you while you read or can’t make it through the story in one sitting, that’s ok. If they get up to play, keep reading, they hear you. Or pause and pick up another time reviewing what happened last time and guessing what will happen this time.
#3 – Rewards!
Every kid loves rewards! Participating in a Reading Challenge or using a Reading Chart can help keep them motivated to read more. For older children, allow them to stay up later if they are reading such as giving them an extra 15 minutes past bedtime to read. Praise your kiddos when you see them grab a book on their own or ask you to read to them. The positive reinforcement that you provide your children when reading will last a lifetime.
#4 – Be a Reader: They See You.
What are you reading right now? If the answer is nothing, that is one super easy way to help get your kiddo to read more is for you to pick up your own book. What do you love to read about? Amazon or the library are great ways to get those back into your hands.
When picking out a gift, select a book. Bring books with you to waiting rooms and always offer a book to your child before electronics or a toy. If your kids are curious about a specific topic, grab a book and look up the answer. Make it special that you both have reading time before bed together.
#5 – Make Reading a Habit.
If reading is part of your routine your child will come to expect that you always read together at a certain point in the day. If bedtime isn’t the best time, that’s ok, read books in the mornings as your kids wake up or during breakfast. If your child is squirmy, consider reading books while they’re in the bath so they can listen while they play in the water. Read after naps or while having an afternoon snack. The key is finding your time and be consistent in it. Reading aloud to your children will become a treasured memory.
Make a goal to bring new books into your home. When they grow out of their current clothing or shoe size, think about up leveling their books too. Go to the library regularly, weekly or monthly. Get your child a library card, they will love it! Join a book box club to make sure you always have new books in your home library.
We hope you enjoyed these tips and it helps your child get more excite and read more books!
Tom & Cindy