Before they are old enough to read and understand the printed letters on the page, young kids love the music of language as their parents read them stories. Reading to your child offers a plethora of wonderful benefits. In addition to being an excellent source of entertainment, reading helps stimulate a child’s imagination and spark his or her curiosity. When little ones are read to, it can help expand their vocabulary as they experience a whole exciting range of emotions and acquire new knowledge and skills. Because there are so many developmental benefits of reading, it’s imperative that parents carve out time and energy so they can help their kids develop a lifelong love of reading. Read on for some helpful tips to help you encourage good reading habits in your little one.
Make it a habit to talk to your infant early on
One of the best ways to raise a young reader is to start them off young. This means that even before your child learns to recognize and read letters, just the act of speaking to your baby has a significant positive impact. Even if your little one can’t utter a word yet, talking to babies is the first important step toward their development of basic language skills. Speak in simple and short sentences, and do so as if you’re telling a story with varying voice inflection and intonation. This helps young children begin to learn how to identify emotions through spoken language.
Read to your child every day
Introduce your little one to the wonderful world of reading by setting aside time to read together on a daily basis, at least 30 minutes each day if possible. Make reading books part of your child’s bedtime routine, or carve out some time for reading during the afternoon. Doing so helps little kids understand the conventions of reading as they start to become more familiar with new words and vocabulary.
Be a good role model
Whether it’s books or magazines you’re into, letting your child see how enthusiastic you are about reading is a great way to encourage him or her to read. This sets a good example as you encourage a love for reading in your child. Pick up your favorite reading material during your free time or while you’re relaxing at home. Children are more likely to follow what they observe from their parents and other adults around them. Not to mention, reading is an excellent alternative to screen time.
Keep a variety of reading materials around your home
Keeping all sorts of interesting reading materials around your home is another way you can encourage reading in young children. Make sure your house is filled with a variety of fun and interesting reads that are appropriate for your child’s reading level.
Create a reading nook for your child
Developing good reading habits begins at home. Your child is more likely to pick up a book if he or she has a comfy spot dedicated to reading. Find a nice location in your home and convert it into a reading nook for your family. It doesn’t have to be a large space. It can be a little corner that’s quiet and comfortable with adequate lighting. Maybe you can put a soft couch or chair in your reading nook, and surround it with some reading materials your child will enjoy.
Encourage activities that involve reading
Reading isn’t only learned and developed between the pages of a book. You can also encourage reading in your child by doing other activities that also involve reading. For example, when you invite your child to join you in the kitchen while you’re cooking, you can have him or her help you read the recipe and ingredients. When your child gets a new toy, have him or her read the assembly instructions. Something as small as practicing reading even a sentence or two in random locations at home and when you’re out any chance you get is a great way for your child to practice reading.
Take your child to the bookstore or library
Another fun way to help young children develop a passion for reading is by taking them to the bookstore or library. These places offer an extensive range of options when it comes to reading materials. Have your child choose from a selection of books, comics or magazines they find the most interesting and those appropriate for their age and reading level.
Reading is beneficial to kids in so many ways. Use these tips to encourage reading in your child early on.
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