Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Fostering a Love for Reading
I have three children. They are 3, 6, and 7 1/2 years old. My oldest daughter just started Second Grade this year and I was excited to hear that she is reading on a Fourth Grade level. I am very blessed that all three of my children share my passion for reading. I don’t think it’s by accident that reading became one of their favorite things to do everyday. Before my children were born I received my degree in Early Childhood Development and I taught Kindergarten. My classroom was centered on literacy and so I made sure to center my home on literacy as well. It is never too early to get your child interested in reading! I read to my kids before they were born and I haven’t stopped since then! I am including a few ideas that parents can use to help foster a love for reading.
1. Read to your child daily! Snuggle up with a favorite book and spend time reading with them. Have them read to you, too. Even if they aren’t reading words yet, they can still retell a story or make up their own story from the pictures.
2. Add Books to Every Room. My children have a shelf and/or reading basket in each of their rooms. We also keep a large basket of books in our living room. Why not throw some children’s cook books in the kitchen, too?
3. Model Reading. I keep my kindle or book that I am currently reading on my nightstand. I have always made it known to my children that reading is important to me.
4. Put out baskets of Themed-Books in a central location like the living room or playroom. The basket in our living room holds favorite books, but I also change out the books to relate to a theme or holiday we are celebrating at the time. Since the kids recently started back to school I have our basket full of school related books (The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing, Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London, etc.) I need to put out our Fall books soon, too.
5. Discover and share with your child different literacy activities. Do a Google search on activities to do with a child’s favorite book and you will find endless ideas. Make a snack that relates to a special book. (For example, green food coloring with eggs and sliced ham go great with Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. Use a straw to make a hole through different foods and serve it up after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.) In the future, I plan on sharing with you many other literacy activities that we have enjoyed together.
6. Make a reading nook or find a special place for quiet reading time. This can be as easy as throwing a few pillows on the floor next to your bookshelf or letting them sit in a special child-sized chair.
I especially like the reading fort made by Carla from smallfriendly.com. For instructions on how she made hers, visit Mini Lounger Tutorial.
7. Make good use of your local library. Let me tell you something about my children. Their second home is our local library. We are constantly checking out new books from there. We go to “mommy and me” story time, craft day, and other events put on by the library. You may be surprised at what they have to offer so make sure and check it out!
8. Offer a variety of reading materials. My oldest daughter loves getting her hands on a good chapter book. My little boy can’t get enough of comic books and books about Space, and my three-year-old can always spot a Dora the Explorer book from a mile away. Have newspapers, magazines, comic books, picture books, fiction and nonfiction books readily available to your children. You never know what might catch their interest!