Some children naturally gravitate toward reading, while others resist delving into books. No matter how your child views reading now, there are plenty of things you can do to help inspire a lifelong love of reading. Here at Creme de la Creme, we know how important it is to encourage a love of reading from an early age, so we’ve put together some tips and tricks for easy things you can bring into your daily routine from your child’s early years and beyond.
Read Out Loud
Image via Flickr by Smabs Sputzer (1956-2017)
This might be the number one way to encourage reading. Reading aloud is important when kids are too young to read on their own, and you’ll want to integrate a bedtime story from a young age. The earlier you bring reading into your child’s day-to-day life, the better.
Even infants can get involved with reading by just listening to your voice. As your child grows, they can look at pictures and help turn cardboard pages to get even more involved with the reading process. You don’t have to stop reading out loud when your child is old enough to read on their own, either. Instead, encourage them to read to you so you can continue to share in the enjoyment that comes from reading.
You can also bring reading out loud into other activities, even taking turns to read as a family. For example, each member of the family can act out a part in a story you read out loud together. By building fun family time around reading, you’ll foster a love of the activity.
Encourage Reading, Wherever You Go
You don’t have to read only books. Bring reading into all aspects of your child’s life. Practice reading things like movie titles, road signs, menus, or instructions for a favorite game. You can even point out letters for younger children to start developing this awareness. When you bring reading into activities like playing games or going out to eat, you’ll show how essential reading is to all aspects of daily life.
Connect Reading to Everyday Life
You can also show your child how what they’re reading applies to their own daily life. Help your child make connections between the stories they read and their own experience.
If you read a story about a dog and then pass by a neighbor’s dog on a walk together, for example, remind your child of the story and ask how that might tie into what the real-life dog is doing. When kids see how their reading material ties into their own day-to-day existence, it can spark an interest in reading more relevant stories.
Talk About Reading
Once your child finishes a book, or you finish reading to them, talk about what happened in the story. Ask them their favorite part. Talking about reading will both enhance your child’s skills in terms of comprehension and turn reading into a family activity.
This works for kids of all ages, too. If your child is too young to read alone, you can read to them and pause to emphasize parts of the story you love, then encourage your child to do the same. Then, as they grow, you can continue this activity in age-appropriate ways.
Keep Reading Materials at Home And Make an Area Just for Reading
Make sure your kids have easy access to books and other reading materials at home. That will help show that reading isn’t only something that happens in school.
You can take this a step further by creating a fun area in your home that you dedicate to reading. If your child is old enough, you can even have them help you decorate so the area truly belongs to them.
Set up a comfy seat for reading like a beanbag chair, decorate with some fun accessories (maybe posters or stuffed animals that tie into favorite books), and of course, put together a bookshelf or box with a variety of books. You’ll create a cozy mini-library or reading corner your child is sure to love retreating to when they want to enjoy a book.
Listen to Audiobooks
You can integrate reading into daily habits as a family, even when you’re dealing with a super-packed schedule. Put an audiobook on in the car when you’re driving to an activity. This expands on the idea of reading being fun. Kids may even ask to get a physical copy of the book to read along!
Let Yourself Be an Example
Be a role model for your child. Let them watch you read as you go about your day. Read the newspaper, grab a magazine, and don’t hesitate to dive into a great book while your child is around. You can even encourage your child to join you with their own book so you can enjoy some time together while both reading.
Make the Local Library Part of Your Routine
Take advantage of your local library so your child always has access to a wide variety of books that interest them. You can even make getting started a fun experience by signing up for a library card together. Then, plan regular trips to your local spot so your child can take out a book that they choose for themselves.
Introduce Your Child to Different Genres
Explore different genres and topics so you can find various things that interest your child. From mysteries to realistic stories to fairy tales and even comic books, there’s something out there for everyone. The more interesting your child finds a subject, the more excited they’ll be to keep reading.
Read Every Night
Again, this is something you can do with infants and beyond. Make sure reading is a part of your child’s routine every evening, whether you’re reading to them or they’re reading on their own as they get older. By developing this habit from a young age, you’ll help your child learn to associate reading with comfort and relaxation.
What are your favorite things to read with your child? Let us know so we can add some fun books and more to our list!