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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Reading can provide many benefits to children such as improved vocabulary, better pattern recognition and math skills. In order to keep your child reading and obtaining these benefits, it’s important that they learn to enjoy reading. As a parent, it is our responsibility to foster an interest in reading in our children. These five tips can help give you an idea of where to start to get your child to love reading.

  1. Start Early
  2. Early exposure to reading will create associations and fond memories with reading that will lead to a continued interest as your children grow. Start as early as possible reading to your baby, they can see pictures and will enjoy hearing your voice. As your children get a little older, continue reading to your child, they will love having the quality time with you and the shared enjoyment will strengthen your child’s love for reading.

  3. Integrate Books into Daily Life
  4. Children need to interact with books on a daily basis. This can be done by starting a mini home library for them, this can be as small or large as you’d like but it should include books that they can handle freely. Keep magazines and other literature around, and let your children see you reading. This will enforce that reading is a daily part of life and create an attachment to the books.

  5. Make it Fun
  6. Being creative with the ways you engage your child with reading can really help foster their enjoyment. One great way to do this is to make up a story aloud and have them create illustrations to go along with it. As they get older and start to have favorite subjects, let them choose new stories and try to pick topics that interest them. For example, if they have a favorite show about Panda bears then choose a few books about Panda bears. This will have them choosing reading over TV time.

  7. Incorporate Technology
  8. These days, kids grow up integrated with technology. As they get into their pre-teen and teen years, they may become reluctant to read but letting them try an E-reader can get them involved again. These tools will let them explore the available books on their own and control what they read.

  9. Provide a Space
  10. Providing your child with a special area where they can go to read can help your child really look forward to reading time. They will be excited for the time of day when they can go to their special area. You can create a space out of a nook or simply turn a chair into their reading space. This should be in a quiet space that they can grow into.

Fostering an interest in reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child. A love and continued interest in reading will benefit them continually throughout life both educationally and emotionally. These are just some suggestions for getting started, but find what works for you and your family!

Maria Hughes is a busy mom, online publisher, and children’s literature enthusiast. She loves blogging and reading children’s bedtime stories. In her spare time, she enjoys running and being outdoors. 

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want strong readers.