Reading with your child every day is one of the best things you can do to improve their literacy skills and prepare them for success in school and life. Here are 11 tips to make reading fun and instill a love of reading in your child.
- Read with your child every day beginning at birth. While your infant may not be able to read along, hearing words, exploring books and spending time with parents are very important. Several studies have found a correlation between the amount of words children hear early in life and their later reading achievement.
- There are lots of great books available, but it’s important to know which ones are right for your child. Before heading to the library or bookstore, determine your child’s reading level. Books that are too advanced can cause frustration and discourage reading.
- Consider whether your child can physically handle the book. While a school-aged child may be able to turn pager pages, but a toddler may require a book with sturdy pages. Babies interact and learn from books differently than older children. They often explore the books by bending, pulling and chewing on pages. Look at special books designed for babies like Indestructibles that are soft, durable, washable and non-toxic.
- Get to know your child’s interests and involve them in choosing books. Give your child two books to choose from and ask them what they like about each one.This provides an opportunity for communication and lets you know what they’re interested in. Whether you’re going to read the book to them, with them, or their going to read it alone, it’s important that they’re interested in the subject matter. Interest will keep them coming back for more.
- Attend a storytime at your local library. Storytime is a great way to prepare your child for school or preschool environments. It also provides a great time to teach your child how to ask questions and to feel confident about expressing their ideas.
- Introduce your children to both fiction and nonfiction. Unlike adults, children are still piecing together the world around them and enjoy seeing things from their lives in books. You’ll notice they’re often fascinated by books focusing on real-world subjects like animals and geography and occupations.
- Add favorites from your childhood and share the special memories that they evoke. If “The Cat In The Hat” was your favorite book when you were a child, share what you liked about it.
- Have a dedicated place for reading. Create a comfy corner with a bookshelf and pillows that is dedicated for reading. In a world full of distractions, this will make reading time special and improve concentration.
- If you come across books your book your child wants to read over and over again, keep reading it. Your child is learning a language, repetition is important. Research suggests that reading a few books repeatedly has a greater effect than reading many books only once.
- When your child begins reading on their own and exploring more complex stories and ideas, keep reading to them and ask them to read with you aloud. They’re going to have lots of questions. Be available to answer them.
Be a role model. Let your children see you reading.