Reading is fundamental. It makes the world go ’round. Having an avid little reader starts at home and fostering a reader-friendly environment doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s no need for expensive curriculum promising to teach your child how to read. Everything you need is accessible for free. Here are some tips to help jump-start your child’s passion for reading.
1. Read to them early.
It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Some parents even read to their children while in utero. Reading can serve as a fun bonding activity that your child will grow to appreciate.
2. Encourage all genres.
Children are attracted to different types of books from short novels to comics or even magazines. These types of literature can enrich your child’s vocabulary, give insight into other cultures, and spark creativity.
3. Find relatable characters and story lines.
Children are also attracted to stories that mirror their stage in life, hobbies, and physical features. Growing up, there were few books illustrated with characters that looked like me. Now, there are plenty of multicultural books children can get lost in. I put together a growing Pinterest board of books with African-American characters here.
4. Read everything.
Don’t forget that words are everywhere. Reading product labels, street signs, and sales ads are quick and easy ways to spark curiosity and make reading less overwhelming.
5. Interact with the content.
Discuss what you are reading. Talk about the illustrations, predictions, and any connections your child may have to the story. Talk about their favorite and least favorite parts. These random discussions will help build comprehension skills when it’s time your child to read independently.
6. Create a special place for their books.
Children like to snuggle up with a good book just like us adults. Creating a special spot for their books and a comfy place to read will encourage them to indulge in books more often.
7. Get them a library card.
Owning a library card is a responsibility that children hold in high regard. Not only is it a personalized card of their very own, but a form of freedom and independence which is great for positive self-esteem. Make it a momentous occasion and let them have a field day (quietly) choosing reading material that tickles their fancy.
What tips do you have for encouraging reading in your household?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:†Sheena Tatum†lives in NW Indiana with her 2 boys and husband. Find her at†Sophistishe.com, where her family stories, love of photography, and online lifestyle magazine intertwine.†Tweet,†pin, and†Instagram†with Sheena @sheenatatum.