Research shows that parents, caregivers, and family members can start fostering a love of reading as early as birth. This happens by reading to your child and modeling reading. Surround you child in a book rich environment from the start and it will carrying with them through life.
Spend Time Reading to Your Children
Families are encouraged to start reading to their children, even as babies. Taking just five to ten minutes a day to read to your child. This can be at playtime or a bedtime routine. Even at a young age, allowing your child to see, touch, and play with the book while you are reading creates interest and an emotional connection between language and the feelings of being comforted.
Older children should be encouraged to try to read along, to say the memorized parts of their favorite books, to point to the pictures and to ask questions. As children get older, discuss the “what if” questions about the pictures and the story this will lead to creative thinking. Families can also encourage older children to read by allowing them to choose their own books. Children will begin to realize that we read for a purpose; whether it’s to learn something or for enjoyment.
It is important for children to see that their family members choose to spend some time reading. Set aside some time for family reading together. Remove other distractions during this time to model reading by focusing on their book. Book breaks are an excellent way to encourage reading together.
Tell Stories and Encourage Imagination
Even before children can read, they love to tell stories. This should be encouraged without any demands regarding the story. Just let the children explore their imagination out loud. Children are natural storytellers, give them an audience and they blossom.
In today’s world, children are surrounded by electronics and technology and the magic of books is sometimes undiscovered. Becoming a reader happens one book at a time and developing a foundational love for reading starts in childhood.
At Raising Arizona Preschool, we believe strongly in creating a love of books and reading. Each day children are exposed to rich reading activities and storytelling. These activities foster both reading, language development, and a love a learning that will carry with you child as they continue through school.