My husband and I love books. It was only natural that we would take every opportunity to cultivate the same attitude towards books in our children. There is a big difference between teaching your children how to read and teaching them to love reading. For example, someone could know how to read, but hate it and avoid it. Then, there are others who know how to read and love to read as often as they can.
I believe the difference between those two examples originate in childhood. Even before your kids learn how to read, you can teach them that reading is fun, exciting, and full of imagination by reading to them! Cultivating the love of reading in your children can be done in a few simple steps.
How early, you ask? From day one! Reading to your baby is one of the best and sweetest things you can do for them. In the early days, even when they can’t see clearly, they can hear and will love the soothing sound of your voice as you read. As they grow and start to be more aware of their surroundings, you can buy touch and feel books with large pictures in them so that you can help guide their hands to what you’re reading. Buy books for every stage so as they grow older, you’ll have books that will engage them.
I loved reading to my kids as I nursed them or if I were on the floor playing with them I would help them feel the touch and feel books with their tiny little hands. Those sweet moments created such precious memories for me and baby.
Put Books On Display
Buy a bookshelf to display your kids’ books so they can have easy access to them. The more they see their books, the more they will want to read them! Yes, even when your baby is crawling you want them to just grab their books to open up! You can start building your child’s library little by little. Ask family and friends to buy books instead of toys, that’s what we do!
Read When They Ask
I know sometimes we are tired and don’t feel like reading, but the best thing you can do is take the time to read books when they want to read. I know this could get hard, especially if you’re in the middle of doing something, but the good thing is that you’re helping them spark their interest in reading. I love the look of my kid’s face when they come running to me with a book in their hands!
Visit The Library
I love the wealth of knowledge that libraries hold under one roof! Going to the library is a fun and exciting experience for kids! They get to choose the books they want, take them home, and do it all over again next week. I love how my kids face light up in the library!
Read Every Day
Reading before bed is not only a great bedtime routine but it’s also a great time to read! You can keep a few books beside your kid’s bed in a bin so it’s easy to grab as you’re tucking them into bed. You can also keep a book of bedtime Bible verses to read in addition to a bedtime story!
We like to make sure that we do read-a-loud time daily. I read our morning Bible study and then we move on to whatever read-a-loud book we’re reading. We also do family worship time in the evening where my husband does additional reading and catechism review.
Read Around Your Kids
Instead of opening your phone, open up a book! There’s no better example of getting your kids to love to read than for them to see you reading! The more you read, the more likely your kids are going to enjoy reading too. I just love it when my kids and I are sitting on the couch together reading our own books. And it’s even sweeter when I’m cooking or busy doing something else and instead of playing, I see my kids on the couch reading a book. It’s so, so sweet!
What are some ways you have cultivated a love of reading in your children? Comment below? I’d love to hear it.