I have always loved to read. If I have a few spare minutes, you will find me pulling a book from my bag or off my nightstand and taking in a a paragraph or so. When we began having children, I wanted to foster a love of reading in them as well. It didn’t always come naturally, but it did happen. It is possible to encourage reading, even for the reluctant child.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Not all children naturally love to read. However, we as parents can encourage them to develop a love of reading that will benefit them in many ways.
Five Ways to Encourage Reading
Begin reading to your children very early in life. I can’t say that I always read aloud to my babies in the womb. During my pregnancies, I was often to tired to speak and four out of our six children are adopted. I did, however, begin reading to them consistently as soon as possible, most within days after they were born. They would take their afternoon naps as I rocked in our rocking chair reading aloud to our other children. They are never too young to enjoy the sound and inflection of your voice while reading a good book. Download a free printable copy of a “Read to Me Log” for your baby book via the form at the bottom of this post.
Reading seems to happen naturally in our home as a part of our homeschool day. Even if you don’t homeschool your children there are many times to work reading into the daily routine for you and your children. Some of our favorite times to work in reading are meal times around the table, and bedtime.
Reading aloud to your children can become a favorite family tradition. Even when children are older, they love to be read to. One of my dear friends says:
Reading aloud to your children is a lifestyle to be treasured. They are never to old to be read to. My kids range in age from 9 to 17 and when I start reading, they drop what they are doing and crowd in. I have retained the power to influence thru the power of reading. ~ Sarah Von Haden (mother of 6 avid readers)
Children love to do things with their parents. If you want them to read, read to them.
This one is sort of a no-brainer. Every parent I know struggles with screens and screen time for their children. The thing is, children are always looking for adventure. They want something that will captivate their minds. They crave brain stimulus. By limiting screens, we force them to look elsewhere for that stimulus. Limiting or eliminating screens goes hand in hand with the next principle of making books available. Think of it like filling the cabinets and refrigerator with healthy foods instead of junk and letting the kids snack all they want.
Make Books Available
If we limit or eliminate screens, we can meet our kids’ need for stimulus and adventure by providing books, lots of books! Here are some great ways to keep great books in abundance in your home:
- Shop garage sales and thrift stores. Books are often the last to go at garage sales and are usually only 25-50 cents in thrift stores.
- Visit local libraries. This option is free if you return your books on time and avoid fines.
- Shop used book stores.
- Sign up for community programs that offer free books for children.
- Use a subscription service that delivers new books each month. Services like The Story Box deliver new specially selected books to your door each month and often include activity guides for parents to aide in language development.
- Get ebooks with services like Amazon Kindle.
Download a free “Read to Me Log” for babies and toddlers below. This is a sweet keepsake for a baby book or an adoption Life Book.