Instilling the love of reading in kids can be hard – especially today when there are so many screens pulling their attention!
- Have you been trying to find ways to help build the love of reading in your children?
- Maybe you’ve tried to get them books that you think they’ll love, but they just aren’t feeling it.
- Or maybe you just wish they’d have some interest in reading, but they just don’t seem interested.
I’m sharing a few tips today on how to cultivate that love of reading in your children.
In full disclosure, I have been compensated for my time. But in no way does this affect the advice, tips, and suggestions that follow.
Tip One: Start Young
Start young. When your child is just a baby, yes – they can’t read but they can hear.
Benefits to reading to children from a young age, even as babies
- reading to young children builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills
- reading to young children teaches them about communication
- reading to young children is a tool to introcude concepts suchs as letters, shapes, colors, and numbers in a fun and engaging way
Did you know that by the time a child is one, they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language? This is why reading to young children is so important – it matters and affects them positively.
From birth, I’ve read to my children. For me, it was an extra excuse (not that I needed one) to snuggle with them and spend that sweet time with them. Find short books for children that are super young, I’d say through about three years old.
You want to get books with colorful pictures and lots of bright and fun artwork. This stimulates their visual senses and engages them.
As they are looking at the pictures, they begin to piece together the story you are reading. And as are looking at pictures they begin to realize that they are telling a story.
Eventually, when they grab a book you’ll begin to see them wondering what the story is about as they analyze the pictures, and that’s when they’ll come rushing to you to ask for reading time!
Tip Two: Trips To Library
Have weekly or monthly trips to the library. Make it fun by planning a month for each genre. Go to your local library and find that section. Take your time, make a morning out of it, and find books from that section to read that month.
Enjoy them with your children, read the books with them. Or if they prefer to read alone, read the book when they put it down and talk with them about the book. Bring it to life by talking about it with them!
Tip Three: Reading With Them
Read with them and to them, even when they can read on their own.
Don’t just turn reading over to them when they learn to read. Leaving them to themselves means you might lose the opportunity to nurture that reading flame in them.
I can’t stress this enough. My teen is a big reader. Her nightstand is pouring over with books because her drawers are already filled up to the top! But I still read to her sometimes. It’s fun and exciting for her. She loves that connection and enjoys it.
Also, while you’re reading to them help them explore various genres of books.
Find books that look different than the norm, that are outside of the boxed idea of what children and youth books should look like. Explore the different options.
Take this book for example. It’s a great book that is not just beautiful to look at, but it’s also educational!
When you expose them to books like these often, they learn that reading is not just some boring story.
And there is no harm in finding books on topics they are interested in. I grabbed this one recently for my 1st grader. She loves all things super hero!
Tip Four: Read What They Read
This brings me to another tip. Read what they are reading. Not just to make sure you know they aren’t reading anything inappropriate, but to be a part of what they are doing.
When mom shows little interest in reading (or anything for that matter), it’s difficult for the child to find it interesting themselves if they are already struggling with it, or if they’ve never been exposed to it.
Our children imitate us in most everything we do, even if they don’t realize it. Encourage them by showing them that reading is wonderful!
Tip Five: Vary Reading Material
As your children grow, vary the reading material. Classic fairy-tales are wonderful! But try to vary the reading books you bring in your home, even if they just look different. It sparks interest! And interest leads to hungry minds!
This book is so beautiful! We just picked it up this week at the library because it looks so interesting! My 6-year old couldn’t get me on the couch fast enough to read it to her. I loved that!
My kids heard me reading Shakespeare to them while they were young, each of them. I act it out a bit just to be funny.
But, I use Shakespeare as an example because it’s often the difficult readings that put kids off. They think “I don’t get this” or “why would I need to read this” so they shy away from it and reject the idea of it all together. But when you present it in an interesting way, they become eager to dive into it to find what it’s all about.
On our recent visit to the library, I found this quirky Shakespeare book. Books like these really spark that interest in children, leading to wanting to read more and see what else is behind those books covers.
It almost looks like a comic book on the inside, but it’s just presenting the stories in a unique way. It’s engaging.
Another way you can vary reading material is via subscriptions. Think magazine subscriptions for kids. These are great because the stories are always fun and interesting, and often times they are educational too! Take Fun for Kidz for example. Their magazines range for ages 5-14 (you can cover a lot of ground with that age range!) and so much fun!
We received Hopscotch For Girls, Boys’ Quest, and Fun For Kidz! They are filled with really interesting educational information! It’s super engaging because it was designed FOR kids!
There are also fun activities like crossword puzzles and other fun things that really pull the child into the material. This is great for any occasion!
They also include fun (and educational) stories in their magazines.
I loved seeing my girls curl up with a magazine reading, having fun, and learning while they were at it! Total win for mom :)
Be sure to follow Fun For Kidz on Facebook!
Parents, read to and with your kids – regardless of their age. And vary the type of reading material to help them build that love of reading!
What are some ways that you cultivate that love of reading in your kids?