5 Engaging Ways to Inspire Your Kids to Love Reading Books

Creating a reading habit can start as early as birth, some say even before that.

Love of reading in children

Among many other reasons hearing language from books, even muffled in utero, gives babies data to tune their ears to melodic patterns, words, and pitches. This accelerates the acquisition of native language and responsiveness to verbal rhyming stories.

A group of researchers who study literacy education, reading instruction, and educational psychology Anderson, R.C., Hiebert, E.H., Scott, J.A., & Wilkinson, I.A.G. in their collective article in the 80’s said “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children”

For the love of reading

When I was young I discovered my love for reading through chapter books that were available to me at the time, books like Goosebumps, Sweetvally High and Bailey School Kids. As a parent, few things are more rewarding than seeing your child excited to read books. Reading unlocks new worlds for kids and feeds their imaginations. But with screens increasingly vying for attention, how can we instill a genuine love of reading early on?

Reading for fun together

Finding the Right Books to Support Your Child

Doctor Rudin Sims Bishop often referred to as the “mother of” multicultural children’s literature for her sociologically groundbreaking children’s literature research wrote an article in the 90’s – Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Doors here is a little insight into the article.

Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Doors

All books children read even for fun have a specific purpose.

Mirrors

Some books reflect children’s own identities and experiences back to them. For example, books with characters similar to them in terms of race, culture, gender, etc. This allows children to see themselves represented.

Love of reading

Windows

These types of books provide children with a view into the lives of people different from themselves. It exposes them to new perspectives, cultures, identities, etc. that they may not encounter in their daily lives.

Love of reading

Sliding Glass Doors

These types of books allow that child to go to another world, experience various other places, and open up opportunities for children to discover things they don’t know. It opens up children’s worldviews, understanding, aspirations etc.

love of reading Look inside space
Astronomy book for kids

Here are 5 tips to Help You

Start Early With Reading Aloud

Well before kids can read independently, read aloud together. Whether it’s nursery rhymes for infants or picture books for toddlers, reading together builds listening skills, parent-child bonding, and positive associations with books. Make it a cozy daily routine – something they look forward to.

Reading Together
Reading together
Reading Together

Surround Them With Reading Materials

The key is access and variety – books should be everywhere! Rotate library selections bi-weekly, leave colorful stories in the playroom, have a basket of bath books ready, download ebooks for road trips. Variety prevents boredom so include fantasy, nature guides, joke books – whatever aligns with their developing interests.

Reading corner for kids

Let Them Take the Lead

While guided suggestions are fine, allow plenty of autonomy for self-selected reading. Kids get more invested when they feel in the driver’s seat. Regular trips to the library or bookstore to pick their own materials – even if just looking at pictures initially – gives ownership.

Library/Love reading
Library/Love reading
comics for fun

Be A Role Model

Kids imitate parents. Let them catch you choosing reading for pleasure often – whether curled up with a novel each night or checking the news on a tablet. Discuss what you’ve read sometimes too. When kids see reading as a frequent activity done by the adults around them, it will stick!

reading for fun/adult

Make It Fun

Don’t force reading if interest isn’t there you are only going to make it worse. Instead, play up the entertainment element – silly voices during read-aloud, regular comic time, reading props like puppets. Find apps that make stories interactive. Sprinkling in rewards like reading movie nights incentivizes too! The goal is to show reading as a consistent source of family fun versus obligation.

Puppets for reading fun

With consistency and imagination, instilling reading love is completely possible from tiny ages on up. Bonding over books from the start creates connections sure to last a lifetime!

What tips do you have on this journey with your young readers? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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General

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Changes to this privacy policy

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This privacy policy was created on August 1, 2023