Saturday, April 21, 2012
5 Ways to Introduce a Love of Reading
1. Start early. Read to your baby in the womb. Babies instinctively love the sound of your voice, so you might as well use it to start getting them ready for private pre-school. Just kidding about that last part. At this point, what you read really isn't important. When I was pregnant, my husband read from Neil DeGrasse Tyson's books. Hopefully that means we created an astrophysicist.
2. Let your baby chew on books. I'm a book collector, so this one was really hard for me. Babies learn by chewing and touching, so get them soft plastic or cheap board books that you don't have to worry about them destroying. The dollar aisle in Target usually has some.
3. Keep books available. Preferably at their level. In our house, we have books in every nook and cranny. In the living room, there is an entire bookcase entirely dedicated to CJ's books. The bottom shelf has all his board books that he's allowed to take out any time he wants. Oh, and he does. Once a day, I look over to see him sitting in a giant pile of books like he's the king of the heap. I can't get mad at him, because I would be perfectly content lying in a pile of books reading.
4. Read with your child. While you are reading to your child, ask questions, have them find things. Make it interactive and fun. Instead of just reading the book, make it a conversation. Your child will retain more information this way.
5. Let your child see you reading. You don't have to constantly have your nose in a book, but let them see you read from time to time. It can be a newspaper, magazine, or just the back of the cereal box. Read out loud to yourself sometimes. It might feel weird at first, but it will help your child recognize that the words he hears and speaks are what all those strange symbols are on that paper.
And a bonus. Make reading a priority. If CJ brings me a book, unless I'm doing something important, we sit down and read it. It shows your child that books are important, and gives you another excuse to snuggle and bond. Which is personally my favorite part of being a mom.
So enjoy, go forth, and read.