Reading is a fantastic way to help children unleash their creativity and imagination. It takes them to new worlds, introduces them to different types of characters, and helps them understand certain situations before they’ve experienced them themselves.
However, cultivating a love for reading that will inspire your child to go after books on their own – and not because they’re asked to do so – might seem like a daunting task to parents, guardians, and teachers.
Where do you start? What can you do to help the process? And how can you teach a child to love something if they don’t have previous experiences with it?
The great thing about these questions is that…you probably already know or have the answers to them!
To help you move forward, I’ve rounded up 5 of my favorite ways you can help – or teach – your child to fall in love with books and reading from an early age, in order to make them more avid readers in the future.
Let’s dive in!
- Become a “reading role model”
Children take a lot of cues from the adults around them. This means that, if they see an adult doing something continuously, they’ll be more inclined to do it themselves, too. A great first step into teaching your child to love reading is by reading yourself and showing them just how much you enjoy it. Make sure your child sees you reading, enjoying the book, and get them involved if possible. Talk to them about the story, the characters, something that reminds you of the book you’re loving, etc. When they see just how much fun you’re having, they’ll want to do the same.
- Keep books everywhere!
Whether you create a designated reading nook at home or you keep books around the house in different places, giving your child easy access to books (and not just keeping them high on a shelf) means they’ll be more likely to pick them up and start reading. Switch up the books you have around the house every now and go with the seasons (summer books in the summer, holiday books in the winter, etc.) so your children will feel curious and excited about reading something new that connects to their life at the moment.
- Make a ritual out of reading time
Another great way to motivate your child to read is by making a daily ritual out of reading time. Choose a time of day and sit down with your child to enjoy a book together – or separately, if they can read – for at least 30 minutes. Rituals and routines will help your child make a habit out of reading and they’ll become more and more used to having a designated “reading time” that they can enjoy to relax, have fun, and maybe even stay up a little later past their bedtime!
- Choose books your child will love
You wouldn’t want to read something that you don’t enjoy, right? Neither would your child! Forcing a child to read something they don’t want to read will more than likely cause aversion to reading and they’ll be reluctant to try again. Give your child options when it comes to picking a book: do they want to read adventure stories? Do they prefer funny books? Do they like animal or people characters? Giving them a choice and letting them take charge of what they want to read will make them more excited to pick up the book and dive in.
- Reach for an audiobook
If your child is just getting started in their reading journey, a great way to help them learn how to read is by pairing physical books with audiobooks and using them together. Listening along as someone reads the words on the page won’t just teach them about spelling and pronunciation, it will also help them feel more comfortable about their progress!
Are you an avid reader? How did you fall in love with books and how can you replicate that in your children? Let’s discuss in the comments 📚