Instilling a love of reading in children starts with parents. Reading stories has many developmental benefits and strengthens parent/child bonds. Storytime engages children’s natural curiosity and helps develop listening skills. Being fascinated with books at a young age opens up a child’s imagination and enhances their attention span. Children will also develop social and emotional skills from reading. Young children will have feelings and awareness for characters and the story you tell.
When an adult reads a children’s picture book, this encourages a love of reading and can teach life lessons. The illustrated book Grub E. Dog by Al Newman teaches a child the importance of hygiene. Books with captivating drawings help children focus and retain the information. Illustrations present a form of visual learning at a young age while being enjoyable. Reading aloud to children expands cognitive and language developmental skills.
A child who loves books will have a broader vocabulary as they reach preschool age. Parents and teachers can implement fun reading activities and create learning opportunities. Read Me a Rhyme, Please by Barbara Beyer Malley has fun poetry lessons and focuses on childhood development. The poems and tongue twisters broaden vocabulary range and sharpen cognitive skills. The book has read-aloud activities for preschool-aged through 2nd-grade children and language lessons for adults. Young readers develop better communication skills that extend into adulthood.
Here are other ways to encourage a love of reading in young children:
- Have an assortment of books and magazines that your child can grab, and they will look at books that interest them. Once you see what holds your child’s attention, you can get other books in that genre.
- Let children stay up later on occasion if they want to read because they will be viewing staying up later as a reward. This parenting tactic will have children wanting to read more.
- When choosing children’s books, start with easy-to-read books when they start reading on their own. Stories with difficult words may create frustration, and a child may lose interest. Reading Rockets has a great article with advice on choosing age-appropriate read-aloud books.
- Sign up for every reading event you can. Often, local libraries, schools, or stores will hold reading challenge events. Join events because children have the determination and love new challenges. A child will want to read more if they have the potential to win an award.
- Many libraries have a weekly storytime or children’s hour. This is also an opportunity for you and your child to meet others in your community with a shared interest. While you are there, You can ask librarians to help you find books on a special topic or by a favorite author to check out for storytime at home.
The importance of reading to children will help them develop and set them up for academic success. This Healthline article gives tips on how to start reading to your child by age level from a baby to an older child. By encouraging young readers, you help them develop skills as they become well-rounded. They will carry these traits into adulthood and pass their love of reading onto their children. Read about the benefits of reading in our blog post, Read, Know, Learn, and Grow. This article was updated from 9 Ways to Develop a Love of Reading.