20 Tips to Foster a Love of Books and Reading for Your Child
The vast majority of children love books, and many parents report that it is difficult to stop their child reading when other tasks demand attention. However, cementing a young child’s love of books so it can develop into a love of reading can be nurtured with the following tips:
- Dedicate time to read with children, and give them your undivided attention during that time,
- Incorporate books into your routine, for example reading after nap time or before bedtime,
- Read books daily,
- Wherever possible, avoid a distracting environment; turn the TV off,
- But allow for opportunities to read in other places too, for example in the car, on public transport, while waiting for an appointment,
- Choose age appropriate books, too complex or too simple may fail to engage the child or hold their interest,
- Don’t be afraid to allow children to revisit familiar stories from previous years; they might discover something new,
- Indulge a child’s request to read the same book over and over,
- Discuss the content of the text, the pictures and their relationship,
- Have a variety of books available, some interactive and some more relaxing,
- Offer a variety of different subjects,
- Read fiction and non fiction,
- Give the characters individual voices and noises! Dramatising books with animal noises and witches cackles makes the experience so much fun.
- Sing the book. If you are sharing The Wheels On The Bus with a child, they will probably want to sing along too.
- Read books that also come with audio tracks - they can be enjoyed with or without the book by the child, especially when they are familiar with any illustrations,
- Introducing props such as a toy or puppet that appears in the book,
- Extend the enjoyment of a book with a related activity such as craft, felt storyboards or construction play
- Make sure they see you reading your own books.
- Visit the library!
- Meet the author. If possible, hearing an author read their own material is always inspiring.
From language development, sparking imagination and fact finding to helping a child relax, the benefits of reading are numerous and irrefutable. As a parent, reading is also a great opportunity to bond and / or reconnect with your child. After a long day, enjoying a book together helps to end the day on a positive note.
But don't take our word for it!
Listen to 11 year old April Qu's beautiful TEDxTalk below to see what books mean for her.