When children develop a passion and skill for reading at an early age, the developmental benefits can provide a headstart in school, and last well into adulthood. But, as parents know, encouraging a love of reading can often be challenging. If you’re struggling with this challenge, try out the tips below to begin instilling confidence and excitement in your young learner’s literacy journey.
1. Start with Physical Interaction
A successful book interaction doesn’t necessarily have to include reading! Physical interaction, such as holding the book and turning the pages, can be great introductory practice for babies. And as babies begin associating book-time with fun, they’ll hold onto that association as they grow older and further their reading skills.
2. Talk About Book Covers
Exploring a book’s title and cover art is a great way to start the conversation and build some intrigue about a book. Guess what the story might be about, or what the characters might be like. This will naturally begin exercising critical thinking, imagination and vocabulary before even turning a page!
3. Place Books Around the House
Placing books all around the house (even the bathroom!) naturally makes reading part of the daily routine. The more kids see books, the more comfortable and familiar they’ll become with them. So reading on a lazy Sunday, in the car or before bed will all start to become second nature.
4. Embrace Storytime
When kids see that you’re enthusiastic about a story, they’ll be more likely to enjoy it too. So dust off those acting chops with your best voice and character impersonations! Play off of suspenseful moments by emphasizing words or even acting out entire scenes. And ask questions along the way to make sure the kids are following along.
You may feel a little silly at times, but you’ll be making lasting memories, all while encouraging a love of reading.
5. Master Letter Recognition
When kids are confident in their reading ability, they’ll be more encouraged to continue challenging themselves. Mastering letter recognition at an early age is a great way to start instilling this confidence. Letters are all around us, so there’s always opportunity to talk about them.
If you’re on-the-go or stuck inside on a rainy day, try doing a letter hunt! Fun challenges like this are a great way to build familiarity and confidence with the alphabet.
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And if your family is looking for early reader books, be sure to explore our board book library. Mother Goose Club board books engage children with beautifully illustrated pages that are designed to educate and entertain.