Fostering A Love of Reading in Your Children

A love for reading is one of the best gifts a parent can give to their children.

It opens up whole worlds for them to explore, characters for them to meet, and cultures for them to discover. It’s also a wonderful parent-child bonding agent and a great segway to bedtime.

A study has shown that children who grow up in book-filled homes achieve greater literacy and numeracy. According to the Guardian, “Growing up in a home packed with books has a large effect on literacy in later life – but a home library needs to contain at least 80 books to be effective…”

That may sound like a lot, but the books don’t all need to be the latest fancy hardback from the author of the month. As I hope Stories Aloud has proven, some of the classics are still hugely relevant to children growing up today.

Your local second hand store will likely have hundreds of children’s books looking for a new home. But remember, reading isn’t all about books! Newspapers, magazines and (of course) audio books are great ways to encourage a love of stories.

Why not create a special reading corner? You could build a little fort with bookcases and scatter cushions in between. Make sure there is plenty of varied reading material and good lighting.

Then you can throw a blanket over the fort and add some fairy lights to create a calm and cosy space for a bedtime audio story!

Storytime plays a hugely important role in introducing kids to the magic and marvel of books and the best time to start is when they are very young.

Even before they’re ready to walk and talk, children love books with bright colours and simple text.

As they grow, you can introduce lyrical stories like Dr Seuss and nursery rhymes. Even if they don’t understand it yet, they’ll enjoy the rhythm of the text.

And of course as they get older, their reading material can reflect their specific interests: animals, friends, nature, magic, adventure, history, trains, monsters.. you name it, it’s covered.

Remember, of course, they’re more likely to see reading in a good light if they see you reading. So next time you’re at the thrift store, pick up something that takes your fancy. Hell, why not make your own reading fort! 🙂

It’s never too late to introduce your kids to the pleasure of reading. Take your time, build a varied library of all types of materials, and watch their faces glow as their love of reading grows.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

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