Cultivating a Love of Reading at Every Age
Reading is an incredibly important skill, and instilling a love of reading in your children is one of the best gifts you can give them. As a voracious reader myself, I know firsthand the joy and enrichment that comes from immersing yourself in a great book.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that kids who read regularly also perform better academically and have higher levels of empathy, creativity, and cognitive development. Reading can transport children to new worlds, introduce them to diverse perspectives, and help them develop critical thinking skills. However, instilling a love of reading in your children can be challenging, especially in today’s digital age, where kids have a wealth of distractions competing for their attention. That’s why it’s crucial to start early and make reading a fun and rewarding experience for your child. With the right approach, you can help your child develop a lifelong passion for reading that will benefit them in countless ways.
Here are some tips that have helped my own children cultivate a love of reading:
Go to the library
One of the best ways to foster a love of reading is to visit your local library. Let your children pick out books that interest them, even if they are outside of their reading level. The freedom to explore new books can be very exciting for children and encourage them to read more.
Read on the go
Take advantage of any downtime you have with your children to read. You can read a book while walking around the neighborhood or waiting for an appointment. It is a great way to pass the time and promote reading as an enjoyable activity.
Read to family members
Reading to family members is a great way to bond and spread the love of reading. Consider reading to cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, and neighbors. If you have family members who live far away, you can make a video call and read to them. My kids love doing this, and it always brings a smile to everyone’s faces.
If you have a pet, why not try doing story time with them? Sit with your pet and read them a book. Your children will love the interaction with the pet, and it can make reading an even more wonderful experience.
Read to siblings
If you have a baby or an older brother or sister, consider reading to them. It is a great way to bond and encourage a love of reading in all of your children.
Hold hands while reading
Holding hands while reading is a simple and sweet way to promote closeness and intimacy while reading. It can help foster the feeling of love in connection to reading and follow them for the rest of their lives.
Let toddlers read to you
If you have a toddler, let them read to you! Make surprise faces as they point at the pictures and describe what you see on each page. My 3-year-old loves this, and it has helped him develop an interest in reading.
Make reading a positive experience
Whatever you do, make reading a positive experience for your children. Do not force them to read or make it feel like a chore. Instead, encourage them to read by providing plenty of opportunities to explore books that interest them.
Bonus tip: Sign up for Imagination Library. This free service sends age-appropriate books to children from birth until age five. I signed up all my children as soon as they were born, and it has been a great way to ensure they always have new books to explore.
Fostering a love of reading in your children is an important gift that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. By following these tips, you can help make reading a wonderful experience for your children!