Early readers sometimes need extra encouragement to gain confidence in their reading skills and developing a love of books. Reading is not only an important educational skill, it can expand your child's imagination and inspire a lifelong passion for learning.
So how do you help turn a new reader into a little bookworm?
- Read books they are interested in.
Let your child choose books about things they love. Whether it's fluffy cats, cool cars or comic book characters. Anything that gets your child excited and engages their interest is good. They'll be far more likely to listen and follow along if the topic is one they are curious about than trying to force books that they “should read.”
- Visit the library. A library card is one of the best gifts you can give your child. It opens up a world of reading possibilities. Exploring the library shelves with your young reader is a fun way to spend the afternoon and fill your basket with reading material. Children love browsing covers and choosing their own books!
- Read as a family. Make reading a family affair! My son loves when we all climb into bed and take turns reading books to him. His dad does a great ogre voice and his mom can build suspense like no other. It makes reading fun for everyone and helps create special memories too!
- Turn story time into playtime. Reading doesn't have to be reserved for school time and bed time only. We like to read stories and act them out together. The more you engage your child's imagination, the more they will connect with the words on the page. Try acting out scenes from your favorite stories, read outside while you're swinging on the swingset. Find creative ways to turn reading into a chance to get silly and have fun.
- Bring books on the go. “Mom, I'm bored.” I hear it all the time from my kiddo. Instead of instantly handing over the iPad or letting him play games on my phone, I bring along a book in the car. Early readers are best for beginners. When he falls on a word he doesn't know he can spell it out to me for help.
- Start a book club for kids. My son loves graphic novels! And while they aren't the most ideal reading material, I like that it's something that he gets excited about. He started collecting his favorite series and couldn't wait to show his friends when he got a new book. So we started a kids book club with a few of his friends. They lend each other books, get together to read and draw comics and laugh about their favorite parts. It's something that connects him with his friends and gets him excited about reading.
Reading opens your mind and imagination up to a whole new world. Helping your child find their own love for reading is a gift that they will carry throughout life.
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