This past summer was spent at the pool, the beach, and the library. I have always loved reading. It came easily to me when I was quite young. When I was 5 I was already a part of the accelerated reader program, and spent more time reading than doing anything else growing up. When I was a teenager I volunteered at the library so that I could be closer to books. I borrowed books from friends, purchased them with what little money I got, and requested them for every birthday and Christmas.
But as I’ve had kids, my reading has shifted a bit to include picture books and early readers. And I love it. I love that my kids want to curl up next to me and read for hours on end. I love that my seven year old asks if he can read for 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes a day. I love that we pick out at least 30 books from the library each week and read them all within the first two days. I love that our board books are so worn out from reading them again, and again, and again.
Reading is not just important, but vital to early literacy and school success. So raising kids who love to read should be at the top of your list if it isn’t already!
Here are my top 5 tips on raising kids who love to read:
- Start when they are babies. Read to them every day and don’t stop reading to them just because they learn how to read! Kids who are read to have bigger vocabularies and are more successful in school.
- Keep books at their level and encourage them to look at them. Don’t expect these early learning books to look nice forever. It’s more important that they learn to love them and turn those pages in the right direction than it is to keep them slobber-free. Ours board books have seen much better days, but the lessons they have taught are totally priceless.
- Attend your local library story time. Start when they are babies and keep it up! It’s been a tradition for years and it’s something that they look forward to.
- Make reading fun! Make books come to life with silly voices and sound effects to engage them in the stories.
- Talk about the stories that you read together and ask questions about what they remember.