How To Get Your Little Ones To Read More(Advice from a Teacher)
Developing a love of reading starts early. Providing lots of opportunities for your child to experience books is a great way to foster this. In our house, there are books in the bedrooms, books in the living room, books in the van, books in the kitchen, in the diaper bag, even books in the bathroom (actually a great spot to read when you are potty training!). Exposure to books is so important even from a very young age. When we are heading to a doctor’s appointment and I know we will be waiting a while, I bring books along to keep the kids entertained while we wait. Finding opportunities to build that 15 minutes (or more) of reading into your day is easier when there are books available.
Build reading into your routine
For our family, bedtime is the perfect time to unwind with some books. We certainly welcome opportunities to read throughout the day but we always ensure we read a few books before bed. Each night after dinner, we head upstairs for a bath, books, and bed! The kids know the routine and they each pick out the book (or books) they want to read. It is so nice to cuddle up in their beds to read with them. We all look forward to snuggling together, talking about the best parts of our day, and sharing stories each night.
Find a time that works for your family and read together. Perhaps you read to them while they are in the bath, while dinner is in the oven, or while you’re waiting at a sibling’s extra curricular activity. Find a time that works for your family and share a book!
Let them read what they LOVE
Reading is reading whether it is a comic book, a graphic novel, a story, a Search and Find book or a magazine. We provide a variety of reading materials and options to keep our kids interested. My parents bought a subscription to Chirp and Chickadee magazines for our kids and they ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM! They may not be books, but the kids are still reading and they are engaged. Find what your child loves and roll with it!
We also buy books for Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. and books about topics that interest our kids to keep things interesting. My son has so many animal themed books, I’ve lost count! My oldest daughter LOVES Fancy Nancy and the youngest loves board books with read photos. So now when we head to a second hand store, we know what to look out for!
If your child wants to read a story book or a chapter book, that’s great. If your child wants to read a non-fiction book about Sharks, that’s great too! The important thing is that your child is reading and being exposed to print.
Model, Model, Model
Kids mimic what they see! If your child sees you loving books and loving reading, they will love to read too!
Head to the library
We make trips to the library on a regular basis. I allow the kids to pick out books that they want and they love bringing home new books each week (or the same ones over, and over, and over again - I think we have worn a path in the floor leading to the fairy tales at our local library). The library is a great place to find new books, try new genres, and save money! As an added bonus, your local library probably offers children’s programs to support language development and reading. When my children were babies, we spent time at the library in Mom and Baby classes singing songs and reading books. There are also toddler programs and programs for older kids. Check out what your local library has to offer!
Get your family involved
My kids love to read with me but they also love reading with others. When they are with their grandparents, they love to snuggle up and read with them. During the pandemic, it is a great time to call a grandparent, an aunt, uncle, or cousin and share a story online!
Have fun with it
Make the silly sounds. Use the funny voices. Talk about the crazy pictures. Sing the songs in the books. Making reading time memorable and enjoyable for everyone.
Read joke books. Read recipes. Read sport statistics. Read Search and Find books. Read Lego instructions. Read the back of Pokemon or hockey cards. Reading is all around us all the time. My kids love to play word games, sing songs, rhyme, create alliterations, search for letters and words when we are out and about and have fun with language. It doesn't have to be hard or tedious because we are reading all the time. Even young children will begin to recognize signs, symbols and labels on items all around them if you point them out. They will start to recognize their own name and see letters not just as separate but as tools they can use and manipulate to make words and have fun with language. Reading and conversations helps develop those abilities.
Guess Blogger Spotlight!
We are so excited to introduce one of our Welo Ambassadors, Lauren (@lauren_makes_lunches) who is a teacher and mom who makes the most creative lunches for her kiddos!