As a bookworm myself, it was important to me to pass on the love of reading to my children. From improving language and comprehension, to encouraging imagination, there are so many benefits to having a love for books.
In a world of iPads and computer games, we feel it’s important to get back to basics and enjoy reading as a family. Obviously all children are different. My eldest two children would love sitting and listening to a story from a very young age. My daughter, however, needed a bit more persuasion to sit still!
Follow these tips to turn your baby into a bookworm!
You’re never too young to enjoy books.
We introduced our children to books from a really early age. You may wonder what benefit it can have for a child who can only just hold up her head, but there are so many advantages. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to books from a young age have a larger vocabulary than their peers. Reading a book with your baby is a lovely bonding experience and introduces the notion that reading is fun! Showing your children picture books, even in the first few months of life, helps them with their visual development. At that age they are starting to focus their eyes on simple patterns and shapes on pages, so bright and colourful images are perfect.
Read as a family.
When I would read to my youngest, my two older children would appear as soon as they heard me start a story. I found she was much more likely to sit and listen when she saw her brothers do the same, so I started to encourage their appearance at story time. Now my children are that bit older they now take it in turns to do the reading themselves.
Make it part of their bedtime routine.
Bath, milk, clean teeth, story time, bed. That’s my youngest’s bed time routine. We find it much easier to get her into bed without (too many) tantrums when we can bribe her with a book! We also read a book a nap time as a precursor to sleep. It’s the part of her bed time both she and I look forward to the most. Getting all three kids fed and bathed can be quite hectic so story time is the time to wind down and start to relax.
Make it interactive.
In the earlier days we found interactive stories were a huge hit with our children. They have all loved the press for a sound books, or stories where they can lift the flap or feel the textured pages. It gets them involved in the enjoyment of the story. I also encouraged them to turn the pages themselves from an early age, especially with board books aimed at toddlers, as they’re perfect for chunky little fingers.
I also encourage their involvement when reading books with repetitive phrases. By just reading half the sentence, they fill in the gaps themselves.
Make it fun!
This is the most important thing when it comes to encouraging a love for reading. If your child sees reading as a chore at a young age, they are likely to carry that attitude as they get older. Make it an enjoyable experience for both of you. Whether it’s using funny voices or taking the time to talk about the pictures on the page, do what works for you!
These are tips that worked for us but as I said earlier, all children are different!
What works for your child? Let me know in the comments!