Knowledge is power and reading is knowledge, so I’m thrilled to have three kids who love books! Here are a twelve things we do to encourage that trend:
- Read to and with them often.
- Let early readers read aloud to you. It builds confidence, gives kids a chance to ask for help with unknown words, and develops read-aloud skills.
- Have books in the house. We built our library through hand-me-downs from friends and family, library book sales, and Scholastic sales.
- Make the most of your local library. I’m amazed at the selection of books that are available, and I can even request books online and have them waiting at the front desk!
- Don’t keep all the books in the same place. We have a book basket in the living room as well as a half bookshelf in the kids’ room. The living room basket houses our library books, and the bookshelf has our home library of children’s literature.
- Take turns reading books they find interesting as well as books you find interesting. Everyone benefits from the diversification of topics! I’m learning a lot about spiders, scorpions, and other venomous creatures, at the moment…
- Don’t limit their book selections based on perceived skill or understanding. I never would have expected my kindergartener’s reading to take off with the Ramona series, which I didn’t get into until second or third grade, but those were the books that caught her interest.
- Let them see you reading. If they know that you value reading, they will value it as well.
- Include wordless picture books in your library. They build narration skills, and help kids pay attention to plot sequencing.
- Pay attention to reviews. I have found a number of our favorite books through blogs that I read on a regular basis – especially Mom and Kiddo, Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, and Adventures in Mommydom.
- Encourage kids to write books of their own, and to narrate their drawings.
- Try new types of books. My six-year-old adores poetry, and my two-year-old loves “sound books” full of onomatopoeias!
What are your top reading tips? What children’s books can you recommend to us?