Reading comes naturally for some people while others may struggle to get through a book. Some of us have a natural ability to get lost within the pages while other people may struggle to immerse themselves in the story. For children, building the foundations of reading plays a huge role in their long term educational success. Here are some ways you can help build the foundations of a future book lover.
Let children pick out their own books.
One great way to get children excited about reading is to let them choose their own books. There are quite literally books for every interest. Help your child brainstorm what interests them the most and then spend some time picking out books together. Make it an adventure to go to your local bookstore or browse online retailers to find the perfect match.
Create a comfy reading space.
Adults know there is nothing better than a comfy reading space. It’s a soft, cozy spot that allows us to unwind and drift away from the real world and dive into the adventure within a book’s pages. Children can harness the same healing energy that books can offer.
Build a dedicated reading area where children can unwind and relax with their book free from distractions. Allowing them to help you create the space can help them feel excited and proud of their very own reading nook.
Create a reading routine.
Routines are key to implementing any kind of longstanding behavior. Create a reading routine that is easy to implement into your schedule. A good example would be reading for 30 minutes before bed. Not only does this promote a healthy reading habit, but it also lends itself to better sleep hygiene by reducing screen time prior to falling asleep.
Practice model behavior.
Children are constantly observing the adults around them, especially the ones that they admire the most. Lead by example by demonstrating the reading behavior that you hope your child will adopt. If your child sees you using your electronics constantly for games or social media and never sees you actually reading, it will likely be a lot more difficult to get them on board with reading themselves.
When your kids see you reading, they are very likely to figure out that you enjoy reading in your spare time and therefore reading must be a fun activity. This doesn’t necessarily mean sitting down and reading a book. Practicing model reading behavior could be something as simple as reading the newspaper with breakfast or reading a magazine while waiting in a lobby.
Make reading memorable.
Reading together is an excellent way to create memories, promote healthy reading habits, and start a tradition that you’ll both cherish. Try reading to your child and using funny voices for the different characters. You can also take turns reading to each other. It’s not necessarily what you read with your child but how you read it. Make the story come alive and ignite their imaginations.
Building the foundations of reading will open a world of opportunity. Fostering a love for reading at an early age tends to lend itself to a lifelong passion for reading and constant pursuit for knowledge. There is endless potential to expand your fund of knowledge, build vocabulary, and become culturally aware when you have the power of books within your grasp.