For many of us, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. Reading is a skill that will benefit your children throughout their school years and even throughout their lives. It will prove invaluable during their careers because some level of reading comprehension is required in almost every job.
Not only can reading bring you immense enjoyment, it can also inspire you.
Here are some ways to instill a love of reading in your child.
Let Her Look Through Picture Books
When your baby is a toddler, she doesn’t have to know how to read to enjoy books. Get her a variety of picture books and let her look through them by herself and at other times with you. You’ll get a kick out of the way she tries to tell you what is happening in every picture. And hearing her try to invent a story to go along with the pictures will be one of the most precious moments of your day.
Read to Her
Pick age-appropriate books or stories for your child and sit down and read them to her. Make it a special time for you both, with plenty of snuggles so she looks forward to that time every day.
You can do it right before bedtime to wind her down for the night. She might drift off to sleep during part of the story, but that’s okay. She’ll still get the benefits of reading or enjoying a story every day.
Or, if your child starts getting too excited at any point during the day, a story could be just what she needs to quiet her down.
Tell a Story Together
Learning to love reading often begins with a love of stories – whether they are written or oral. To show her how much fun stories can be, help her make one up.
You can start the story by telling her about something she understands – like a little girl who was asked to go with her mom to the grocery store. At some point, stop telling the story and ask her what she thinks should happen next. When she offers up a sentence, include it in the story, and then resume your tale.
Stop at several points for her assistance. If she can’t contribute a whole sentence or two, let her chime in a descriptive word here or there.
Make sure she knows how much you enjoyed her help in telling your story.
Take Her to the Library for Story Hour
As much as your child loves spending time with you, it’s exciting for her to get to see other children. If you take her to the library for a story hour, she’ll hear both new and old stories that will broaden her horizons. And she’ll get to do that while making new friends.
She’ll look forward to her weekly or monthly trip to the library story hour.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.