Alright, I think most of us know how important reading is, for all generations, especially our children. But what if you don’t think your child enjoys reading? I think deep down all children do love reading, but we have to plant the seeds of love and we have to grow those seeds. I’m not an expert at this or anything, but I have some practical tips for developing your child’s love of reading.
Developing Your Child’s Love of Reading Through Read Alouds
Let’s dive in! The number one tip I have to help you develop your child’s love of reading is to read aloud to them! I honestly think that any activity is more enjoyed by our children when we’re doing it with them. Reading aloud doesn’t just supply your children with reading, but so much more. It helps develop relationships, grow bonds, it gives room for full conversations, for exploration, and asking questions, time for laughs, and sometimes even for crying. I try not to regret things, but I do wish I had started reading aloud to my children before I did. Our journey in books has been so lifegiving! And don’t overcomplicate this, just grab a book, sit down, and read.
We enjoy reading aloud in our airfort, at the kitchen table with snacks and tea, cuddled up on the couch, and on the front porch when the weather is just right.
We read lots of picture books! Picture books are the happy medium of supplying our brains with images, but leaving room for our imagination to take over. So picture books are perfect for all ages! We also read chapter books! I wasn’t sure how the younger kids would like chapter books, but they love them! They always want to read the next chapter and the next and the next. We’re currently reading The Wizard of Oz together! We loved The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Magic Treehouse books have been so fun!
Don’t tell my husband, but anytime I have an excuse to buy another basket, I’m totally doing it. And if you have books, you need baskets. I spread these all over our house. I’ve recently had to rearrange due to a mini tornado, I mean my adorable 1 year old son. The more places there are books, the more likely little hands will pick them up. We keep one on the kitchen counter that holds our library books for the week. Each of the kids’ have books in their rooms, there’s books in the cabinet of the fireplace in the living room, and we have 2 bookshelves in the basement. So I encourage you to grab a few baskets, toss some books in them, and spread them throughout the house.
We love our library! We visit weekly if we can. This is a ton of fun for the kids and me too! The kids feel like they’re big, they each have their own library card and a bag. I let them take off and choose their own books for the week, they can get as many as they can carry in their bags unless they reach the checkout limit.
It’s been interesting seeing what their interests are for the week. Lately, Aubrey has been devouring graphic novels. It’s something that never would have appealed to me, but she read one and now she can’t stop! I’m not saying it’s great literature or anything but it’s her free reading…and she’s reading so it’s a win. Heston has been all about dinosaurs lately! Caralee just loves reading anything and everything. I think she would let you read the newspaper to her. If you’re not going to the library already you need to! It’s free and fun!
Audiobooks totally count as reading! There’s tons of ways to listen to audiobooks. Our personal favorite is Hoopla through our library. You need to check with your library to see if they offer it. It’s a free app, you use your library card to signup. Once you’re in the app you can search audiobooks, ebooks, movies, and even television shows! You can borrow up to 10 items a month. It’s not guaranteed to always have what you’re looking for. But if they do have it, there’s no wait like there could possibly be with the other library app, Libby (Overdrive).
This is a great way to get extra reading in! We use audiobooks when we’re riding in the car for awhile or working on quiet activities such as play-doh.
Developing Your Child’s Love of Reading by Being the Example
Our kids are watching us. They love us and do everything we do. So we need to set the example. If your kids see you reading, see how important it is to you, they will begin doing it too. The first time I noticed this happening I was so surprised but then I realized it made perfect sense. On your next library trip grab you a book too mama! If you need some suggestions, check out this blog post from last week with my favorites!
Developing your child’s love of reading doesn’t have to be hard. Just pick up a book and start reading with them, I promise it’s worth it. And I have this simple printable to help you set some goals with your kids!