You’ve probably heard that reading is good for you and it’s absolutely true. Reading a book can increase your intelligence, boost your brain power, help fight Alzheimer’s disease and just help you relax. Reading can boost your creativity and spark your imagination, take you to distant lands and let you fly through outer space. As Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Instilling a love of reading in your child early in life can set them up for a lifetime of learning and adventure. It is a gift that we can give our children that will keep giving and giving throughout their lives.
So what can you do to help your child learn to love reading?
Read. Read. Read.
Read to your child everyday. Even if it’s just a short bedtime story. It’s never too late to start but we should read to our children even before they can walk and talk. Babies love the bright pictures of board books. Toddlers love lyrical books. They may not be able to understand every word but they appreciate the rhythms of rhyming books and nursery rhymes. As they get older, children love to hear parents express the emotions of the story through their voices and asking questions about the characters. For example, “Where did the little blue truck go?” or “What’s the cat in the hat going to do next?”
Books, books everywhere!
The more reading materials you have in your home the more your children will value reading. Magazines, newspapers, old books, new books. Even better, let them see you reading!
Visit the library!
It may seem old-fashioned these days but libraries are chockfull of knowledge and they are a great resource for every age. Many libraries offer story times and special events to help keep children excited about reading.
DEAR – Drop Everything And Read
Nothing is as important as fostering your child’s love of reading and learning. Drop Everything And Read is just as important for us as it is for them! If you do all of the above suggestions, your child will most certainly bring you a book to read to them at any time of the day–sometimes in the middle of cooking dinner or folding laundry. DEAR reminds us that despite our busy lives, stopping for even just a few moments to read a short book to our children can have an impact that can last a lifetime. Most importantly, it lets them know that they are important enough for you to stop everything you’re doing and devote a few minutes to snuggle up and read a book. They will take that associative memory with them into their school age years, into high school, to college and beyond. Setting them up for a lifetime of learning!