"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." – Dr. Seuss

We couldn't agree more with what Dr. Seuss wrote in his famous children's book, I can read with my eyes shut!.  Indeed, reading a book allows us to learn new ideas, explore new places, and use our imagination. It also helps with language development and emotion recognition.  Hence, we recognize the importance of introducing books to our young kids and encouraging them to flip those pages.

Ten Ways You Can Foster Your Child's Love for Reading:

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1.    Show your love for reading.

Modeling is the best way to inspire your child to read.  Go ahead and pick up a book, a magazine, or a kindle and let your child see your interest in reading.

2.    Read to your child.

You can start introducing reading as early as your child is a baby. You can include reading time as part of the night-time or even morning routine. 

3.    Get age-appropriate books.

The length, wording, content, and images of the book you choose for your child should be appropriate for your child's age.  Getting age-appropriate books can help get your child's interest to get the books and flip through the pages. 

To guide you on which books to give your child, here are some tips from Scholastics.com that you can follow:

-        For newborns, choose books with high-contrast images and rhyming texts.  You may select soft cloth books as their first book.

-        For babies six months and older, choose board books.  These books are durable and can withstand biting, throwing, and pulling.  You can also opt for simple activity books that allow your baby to touch different textures or flip the flaps.  You can also choose books that have mirrors and sounds.

-        For toddlers, you can choose board books that tell a story with beautiful illustrations.  Picture books available in the market provide themes that subtly teach different concepts such as alphabet, numbers, and emotions using well-loved characters or themes.

Bedtime storybooks are also an excellent addition to your toddler's growing book collection.  A bedtime story is a good habit to include in your child's nightly routine.

-        For preschoolers, they can continue to use their toddler books.  You can also start adding paperback books because they have better control than when they were toddlers.   Choose books that have rhyming and phonics that can help your child's reading skills development.

-        For older and independent readers, choose books that support their interests that can help them advance their comprehension and vocabulary.

You can check out book reviews online before purchasing any books.

4.    Create a cozy and comfortable reading nook.

You can designate a well-lit area in your home or your child's room that can be his/her reading nook.  You can place their bookshelf in a corner and set up pillows or a table and chair. 

5.    Keep the books within your child's reach.

A front-facing bookshelf is ideal for showcasing the cover of your child's book.  The vibrant and beautiful illustrations of the books can be very enticing, especially to young children.

If you do not have bookshelves at home, you can repurpose spice racks and place the books in them.  You can also put it on their table.  You can also house the books in the basket.

Having the books within their arms reach allows the kids to pick up the books anytime.

6.    Get books that support your child's interest.

To encourage kids to read, you can get books with your kids' favorite characters, animals, or themes.  If your kid is fond of dinosaurs, you can get dinosaur-themed books with the alphabet, stories, trivia, or even activities.  They can learn different concepts and appreciate books showcasing their favorite things.

7.    Explore different reading genres.

If your kid is not interested in books, don't give up.  Perhaps, you just have not found the genre that he is interested in.  For older kids, there are other genres that you can introduce.  According to Scholastic.com, here are some examples of types you can show them.

-        Realistic Fiction – While these are not based on a true story, these books tell relatable stories and settings.

-        Historical Fiction – These books have stories that are based on historical events.

-        Traditional Literature – These are stories that have been told from one generation to another.  It includes fairy tales, folk tales, and tall tales.

-        Science Fiction – These are stories that may or may not happen in real life.  These are based on science and technology.

-        Fantasy Novels – These stories ignite the imagination of readers with stories that combine realistic and magical situations.

-        Mystery – These are stories that involve solving a crime or puzzling situation.

-        Informational  - These are non-fiction books that provide factual trivia and information about an event or object.

-        Biography – Stories about famous men and women.

-        Poetry – Are a group of verses that were written to express and evoke feelings from the reader.

 -        Autobiography – A life story that an author has written about himself/herself.

8.    Make reading fun.

Make reading more enjoyable through story-telling.  You can get into the character by changing your voice, dressing up, and setting up the room to set the mood.  You can also make it interactive by asking your child to make animal sounds or try to imitate you.

Let your child guess what will happen or have your child retell the story using his/her own words.

You can also try to pretend to set up a tent in the bedroom.  You can have a blanket over your head and read the book with a flashlight on hand.

9.    Rotate the books on the shelf.

You probably have heard of the toy rotation concept.  It is also applicable for books.  The goal is to choose and showcase only a set of toys or books at a time.  By rotating the books, your child will feel less overwhelmed with many books and feel excited because they look new.

There is no specific or fixed schedule on when you should change the books.  You can follow your child's interest and change when your child loses interest in the books on display.  You may also use themes to guide you on what books you will set on display.

10.  Provide support to your child.

If your child feels frustration or difficulty in reading, provide positive support.  Try to identify what causes them distress and try to encourage and boost their confidence.  Do not be ashamed to seek help from family or even your pediatrician if you think your child may have development problems.

We hope that these tips help you encourage your child to appreciate the wonders of reading and become a good habit in the family.

Tiny Steps

We play, learn and grow with children.

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