For many young children, reading is a key part of their everyday routine. It has numerous developmental and language benefits and is a wonderful parent-child bonding activity. But, despite these positive effects, some of you may be asking, “What if my child doesn’t love reading?”
Don’t worry! There are many ways to encourage a love of reading in your little one. Dr. Anna Hall, an assistant professor of early childhood education at Clemson University, has six tips that you can incorporate at home:
- Make books a part of your family lifestyle. Have books available throughout your home to make reading a normal aspect of your family’s lifestyle. Add a basket of reading material to your living room, your playroom and your child’s bedroom and bathroom.
- Visit your local library. Take a trip to your local library or bookstore. Invite your little one to pick out a few stories and sit on your lap while you read them. Take your child to free children’s programs at the library and check out new books on a regular basis.
- Include reading as part of your child’s daily routine. Read together before naptime and bedtime. In addition to providing structure, this ritual is a great way to wind down and connect with your child.
- Read favorite books again and again. Rereading helps build an understanding of how books work and increases comprehension. Discuss the story, characters and vocabulary in each book with your child.
- Tell oral stories. Exercise your child’s imagination by taking turns telling stories – either true or make-believe. Storytelling is a great bonding activity and developing narrative skills can help lead to future success in reading.
- Try related activities. Sing songs, recite nursery rhymes and do fingerplays (like “This Little Piggy”) – these all help develop phonological awareness skills that are necessary for reading.
Looking for more ways to get your child excited about reading? Check out our recommended book picks and additional reading tips.