Reading boasts many benefits for children. Start the habit now. Use these tips to encourage early literacy and instill a love of reading well into adulthood.
When our little guy was a baby, my husband and I could spend hours in a day reading to him. (It’s pretty easy reading to an infant when they don’t move around so much!)
He knew how to turn pages at an early age and turned to books for entertainment. Even though my two-year-old is now more active and mobile, he still loves reading as much as playing.
We’ve always wanted to instill a love of reading in our kids as much as we do. So we put the following tactics in place to encourage this lifelong habit.
How to encourage love of reading in your child:
Surround your home with books.
We set aside the lower shelves in our bookcase for children’s books. Then we stocked one of his cubbies in his bedroom with several more as well. Our collection of books includes hand-me-downs, gifts, books we’ve bought and library books.
Frequent the library.
I’m the first to admit my son and I don’t always hang out for hours on end at the library. We’re in and out, with just enough time to drop off last week’s books and pick up our next batch. Still, even bringing him in to the library to do that helps him realize that places hold books. He can read any book he’d like to get his hands on.
When we have more time, we’ll spend a good chunk of it in the children’s section. He’ll tinker with the toys the library provides. I’ll also get him to sit next to me as I grab a few books off the shelf that we can read together.
Read often yourself.
Make sure your child sees you reading books, magazines, brochures, anything. Show him that reading isn’t just kid stuff. By modeling your own love of reading, he’ll learn that reading is just what everyone does.
Incorporate reading into your routine.
Make reading part of your daily routine so you don’t forget to include it during your day. Maybe it’s reading at bedtime, first thing in the morning or after coming home. This sends the message that reading is part of everyday life, just as brushing teeth and dinner. Plus, you’re more likely to remember to read for a few minutes each day.
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Make reading fun!
When we force kids to read or make a big fuss about it, they may be more turned off by reading than excited. If your kid doesn’t want to read all the time anymore, that’s okay—squeeze it in later in a less pressured way. Present reading as something fun and enjoyable, like a special time for you to cuddle and read a book.
We get a kick out of reading street signs, notices on the wall, words on packaging; just about anything.
I see my kid as a teenager and eventually an adult who loves to read for leisure as much as his parents do. I’m hoping that by instilling an early love for reading, he’ll be on his way to doing just that.
Get more tips on encouraging a love reading in your child:
- 5 Strategies for Learning Letters and Numbers
- How to Encourage Early Literacy with Toddlers
- Small Habits, Big Results: 8 Long Term Benefits of Reading to Your Child
- Top 52 Children’s Books to Read in 2016
- How to Keep Your Child Learning in the Summer
What is the biggest challenge you’re facing with instilling a love of reading?