By Amy Williams
Everyone always says that reading to your children is one of the most important things you can do as a parent, but how necessary is it really? Well, as it turns out, it really is as vital as they say! Reading helps develop creative thinking skills, helps kids practice critical reasoning, gives them examples of morality and wrongdoing, and instills a strong sense of creativity. Even better, all of these goals can be accomplished before your child is even old enough to walk!
How can you get your child to fall in love with reading? Making your children sit down and read for a set amount of time each day is certainly not the answer. Getting your kids to become passionate page-turners takes a bit of work. Fortunately, we have a few ideas to make your job a lot easier!
Be Colorful Pick books that are colorful, sturdy, and have lots of visual features, such as illustrations. This will help to keep their attention tuned into the book, instead of whatever may be happening on the other side of the room.
Tag Team It Once your child is old enough to begin learning how to read, ask them to read along with you. You can take turns reading one page after another, ask them to read to a sibling, or even ask them to spell out words that they don’t understand. You know your child best so rely on your intuition in figuring out what your child needs the most!
Make It Cozy Do you have an independent reader? It might be time for you to create a reading nook where they can go to enjoy their favorite books and stories. Soft cushions, a well-stocked bookshelf, and a cozy blanket can go a long way when it comes to turning your children into lifelong readers!
Cuddle Up Kids love physical contact (and depend on it)! Take advantage of your snuggle time by using it to fill your children’s brains with words. Even just a short book can help grab their attention and get them thinking. Remember – a little bit of reading adds up to A LOT of knowledge over time!
Take A Trip There’s nothing more exciting for a child than being let loose in any kind of store. On the next rainy afternoon, take your children to the local bookstore or library and allow them all to pick out one or two books. As soon as they have finished those, you can make another trip to the bookstore or library!
Set An Example Remember – you are the best possible example for your children! If they see you reading often, chances are good that they too will become avid readers. Talk openly about your favorite books, and encourage them to start a collection of their own personal reading treasures.
Raising readers is one of the best things you can do for your children. It will benefit them in both their education and careers, and we can guarantee that they’ll thank you for it down the road.
Amy Williams is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.