Warming Up to Words: 9 Ways Small Children Fall in Love with Books

Reading is a lifelong relationship and we can foster that source of enjoyment from the very beginning.

Empathy. Emotional Balance. Imagination. Focus. These are just some of the qualities a child can achieve through regular reading. Storytelling is a human universal and a way of connecting us to each other and the world around us. That’s why it is imperative that we start with our kids at a young age and make an ongoing effort to surround them with great examples of children’s literature.

Need a little more help? Here are some great tips to assure your child engages with the profoundly satisfying experience of reading.

  1. Let them choose. Provide them with lots of options starting with the board books and fabric books, and just let them be around the pictures and textures. As they familiarize, they will start to show you their preferences.
  2. Notice their interests. If they love trucks or barnyards, well, there are only a gazillion titles with those themes.
  3. Don’t just read at bedtime. Especially if sleep is a struggle. You want to spread the joy of reading throughout the day so its only association is not bedtime.
  4. Utilize the library. Libraries across the nation are receiving money to expand their offerings, and the youth genre is the one place where the book industry is still thriving. Local libraries get a regular influx of new great children’s books that you don’t have to own or store yourself. Plus in the summer, libraries often have events and activities centered on kids.
  5. Don’t push them to read. Once kids start sounding out letters, it’s natural to want them to put that skill to use, but resist that urge. Reading should be a bonding time, a time to get lost in the story, and use the imagination. Let it be pleasurable at home.
  6. Maximize the in-between. Nowadays, there are whole subgenres of literature designed to bring kids from picture books to words. There are graphic novels and first readers and comics and e-readers.
  7. Don’t stop reading together just because they learn how to read on their own. This is another easy inclination, as they progress toward independence, you want to see them assert it, but continuing to share ideas through reading is a valuable exchange they will treasure as adults.
  8. Read yourself. As is true with most parenting, kids will end up doing what their parents do. So if they see you reading, enjoying stories, and learning, that will rub off.
  9. Ritualize it. Make sure everyone stocks up on good reading material during the family vacations. Set aside some time to kick back together and share a favorite. Turn off the devices, and enjoy that special silence of total absorption in a really good book.

 

These days with our children fly by so fast. If we want them to be conscious of their own story, then one of the greatest things we can do is put other stories in front of them. The more we read, the more experience and expression we offer our kids, and these are tools that will serve them no matter what they do as adults. Enjoy your upcoming summer, and check out some of the great titles we recommend on the DiscoBratz blog.

 

 

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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