We are sure you have heard the overwhelming benefits that reading has on your children. From improving brain connectivity to helping develop empathy, the hobby of reading is great to have. Sparking a love of reading from a young age generally means you have to get your child to associate reading with a happy emotion, ones that their brains will be hardwired not to forget as they get older. So how can you instil this love of reading in your child from a young age? Try these proven tips.
Read out loud
Yes, when you read to your children, this is a given. But try to read out loud as much as possible, whether it be the cooking instructions on a box or shampoo directions. This sparks their ability to listen to words and prepares them for written words. When reading to your child, try to encourage them to repeat the words after you say it.
Do they love the book?
To get them to love reading from toddler age, make sure you read them stories about things they tend to enjoy. As they get older, you can alternate with other subject matter to expand their imaginations and knowledge base. But at first, it is more likely they will fall in love with books that speak to their interests.
Make reading time a happy time
This is a big one! Try to make reading time exciting. Get the whole family involved, make everyone a cup of tea to drink during the session, have everyone in the same room together listening to the story. The whole experience will mean your toddler will be looking forward to reading time every day, and that feeling will stick with them for years to come.
Use the library
Take your child to your local library (which often have reading programmes). Let them wander the shelves with you and choose their own books. Have them sit in the quietness and read to them in hushed tones. Again, this builds an experience with them that they will associate with reading as they get older.
Act is out
This is where the real fun comes in! Start acting the stories out as you read to them to get them excited about storytime and really spark their imaginations. Use props and dress up, act silly and use different voices. What really works here is to get your child to be a part of the story by acting out parts too (they may go off-script, but that’s okay!). Storytime then turns into a game that your child will love to take part in.
Here are some great book ideas for every age: Story time
Toptots Early Learning SA