5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Read
March 2 is Read Across America Day! This annual celebration, which takes place on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, is meant to get children excited about reading. In celebration of the day, teachers, children, parents, schools, and celebrities across the country take part in read-a-thons and reading-themed activities; but of course, the excitement around reading needn’t be limited to just one day.
Here are five ways you can help cultivate a love of reading in your child 365 days a year.
5 Ways to Foster a Love of Reading
Make reading a part of your routine. Bedtime is a natural time to read, but to help instill a love of books from infancy, you might also think about other opportunities to read throughout your day. You may find your kids love reading during bathtime, mid-day curled up on the couch, or even at the beach. Let your kids see you reading too; if they see how much you enjoy it, they’ll be likely to follow suit.
Follow the rabbit holes. If your child becomes unexpectedly fascinated by a particular subject, like dinosaurs, birds, or butterflies – go with it. Head to the library and let him pick out books on the topic. As he explores and learns more about the subject, he might find an entirely new topic he wants to dive into.
Play games that build early literacy skills. Nursery rhymes and songs help kids hear the sound in words and understand patterns. Ask your child, “Can you think of a word that rhymes with cat?” As we shared in our parenting newsletter, you can also look for easy ways to extend learning beyond the book, like doing a craft, listening to music, or cooking a meal that’s related to the story.
Ask your pre-reader or reader to read you the story. Three- and four-year-olds are often eager to “read” their favorite book to you. Even if they’re re-telling the story mostly from the pictures, the act of recalling it helps them develop their confidence and interest in reading.
Encourage conversation: When your child asks you a question during storytime, use it as a chance to reflect together. You might ask your child questions like, “What do you think?” and “Why do you think that?” and “How could we find out more?”
What are some ways you foster a love of reading in your child?
- The Family Room blog: Our Favorite Books for Babies, Our Favorite Books for Toddlers, Our Favorite Books for Preschoolers
- Learn how Bright Horizons helps children become readers.
- Growing Readers: Recommended children’s books and reading activities to foster early literacy at home.
- Read more posts about reading, writing & language and posts about children’s books from The Family Room bloggers