Developing a love for reading in the early years is a lifelong lasting gift on so many levels. Not only in an imaginative sense and for pleasure but also in the development of important literacy skills. Reading provides a growth of knowledge, a pleasurable hobby to escape from our busy lives and the development of critical thinking. Developing a love for books in the early years will set your child up for reading readiness and help lay the basis for your child’s success inside, outside and beyond school.
Parents can encourage their children to read and develop a love of reading in many ways.
Books, Books, Everywhere Books!
Fill your child’s life with books!
Have a great variety of books available to read and explore. Choose books that are kid friendly and have topics or stories that are relevant to them.
Select books that are age appropriate, such as fabric books for infants and board books for toddlers, minimal print, and picture books.
Developing a love of books is about having them accessible, we have books in the bath, car, bedrooms, play area and we take them on small trips and holidays. Sometimes they come with us in the shopping trolley and pram. They are everywhere!
Build a Home Library
Visit the local library regularly and browse around the variety of books. Talk about the different kinds of books and select books on particular topics that are an interest to your kids.
We have gone to the library to find books on guinea pigs, Australia, the weather and seasons because this is what they were interested in or learning at school.
You can also take your children to the second hand shops to build up your home library.
Create a Place to Read
Reading does not have to always be about being read to by an adult in the early years. It can be about sharing a book with a friend, sibling or reading by yourself. Reading is not only about decoding the text but making meaning from the stories. I love it when my kids make up their own stories from the pictures; they enjoy it so much more.
Getting comfortable and sufficient light will prolong reading. Create a reading corner near shelves of books and a comfy chair or a pile of cushions and soft toys.
Reading out loud
The single most important thing you can do to prepare your child for school and develop a love for reading is to read to them every day.
Make reading a special time together and set it in a routine to help make it happen regularly. When we read to our children, they develop a love of books and are eager to explore ways to “read” to themselves, write about what they see, and create their own stories. They learn new words and concepts and understand that written words communicate ideas and information. They are able to see the connection between the sounds they hear and the words and pictures they see.
Parents are the best examples for good reading habits as children imitate the actions of their parents. When children see their parents reading for enjoyment, they will assume that reading is a fun and natural experience. Model reading by reading a variety of materials at home, including novels, recipe books and directories. Children are most likely to follow your example and the rewards are good reading skills that last a lifetime.
Books – A great gift
Books are a great gift for kids!
My children receive a book that has a written note inside as a gift every Christmas and birthday. Not only are they receiving a personal gift, they are also building up their collection of books for their home library. Books that they will be able to take and share with their own children one day.
When I ask my girls what they would like for their birthday, they always say a book and talk about what it needs to be about or one they have seen in the library.Books stimulate the senses, arouse the imagination, and inspire a love of reading that will last a lifetime.