I started reading to my 7-year-old, when he was 8-months-old as a part of his night time routine. Ok, I actually started when I read that babies need consistent routines in order to sleep through the night. Dinner, bath, read...hopefully = SLEEP.
Little did I know that I was instilling a lifelong love of books. Each night he begs to read, bargaining with me for even more time with his books. Yes, really! He doesn’t ask to watch more TV or play his tablet, he wants to read. Who am I to ever discourage that? Unless it’s close to 9 pm which is my cut off for the night.
Every morning before he eats breakfast my 2 year old likes to be read as well. We read a handful of books in the morning and throughout the day. On any given day we read through 10-15 books (Toddler based books that is).
Here are some tips to encourage reading in your house:
- Placing books in all rooms (bedroom, playroom, living room). I have a book case in each kid’s room, a basket of books in the living room, and a basket of books in the playroom with bean bag chairs close by to get cozy in.
- Visit the library often & sign up for summer reading. My oldest son visits the school library weekly.
- Read to younger children daily & older children occasionally.
- If there is a movie based on the book, have them read the book before they see the movie.
- The key is to enjoy reading their books no matter what level they are on. Make silly voices, faces, songs. Whether it's David peeing in the snow, Diary of a Wimpy Kid watching grandpa's teeth fall out onto the kitchen table, or watching the cow jump over the moon in Goodnight Moon.
- Purchase books frequently, this doesn't have to be expensive. I purchase books at the library weekly. They have a rack of books that have been pulled from the shelf that are only around .50 cents each. Marshalls and TJ Maxx have great prices on books. Apply for a library card. Ask for books from family members as gifts.
- Visit Barnes and Noble.
- Always allow time for reading (before school, before bed, and weekends).
It's never too early to instill the joy of reading a good book.
Yes, sometimes I end up making fart sounds or discussing boogers because those are the books that currently interest him (my 7-year-old). Or do I just think this is normal behavior because I am surrounded by boys all day?
What are your tips for getting your children to read often? Let me know below