Did you know that creating a ‘reader-friendly’ environment at home is an important way to increase your child’s chances of improving their literacy skills and their appreciation of reading? Today we are sharing our top tips for raising kids who love to read, and it all starts at home.
Fortunately, creating a reader-friendly environment doesn’t require any special knowledge or investment. By following a few simple steps you could help your children grow into avid readers simply by creating a climate at home where reading is a treasured and exciting part of their day.
7 Tips for Raising Kids who Love to Read
Have Interesting Material to Read
- Keep a special basket full of season books. Rotate them out regularly for each season or up-coming holiday, even birthdays and other special family events. Keep the basket in an easy-to-access area.
- Keep different types of reading material available. You never know which one will strike a child’s fancy.
- Visit the library often or find a good used book store to refresh your book supply often and add interest and excitement.
Set the Example
Like it or not, children tend to copy what the see their parents do. If they see you with a book in hand regularly, they are much more likely to be drawn to reading themselves.
But don’t just stop there. Talk about what you are reading with your kids. It’s a great table-time conversation starter to go around and have everyone talk about what they’re reading. Mom and Dad get to start!
Create Book Nooks
Everyone loves the idea of curling up with a good book. Whether it’s inside cuddled up in a pile of blankets or outside sprawled out under the shade of a big tree, having a comfortable reading spot is essential. Provide ample blankets, pillows, soft chairs, good lighting, and most importantly… quiet space.
Keep Books Handy
We all love the streamlined look of a nice tidy row of books organized neatly on the shelf. But the more within reach and available books are, the more willing little hands will be to pick them up.
- Keep books in baskets or bins around the house
- Have several smaller bookshelves so little hands can easily reach the books they want.
- Keep a basket of books in the bathroom. You’ll have a captive audience there!
- Keep a nightstand or shelf well-stocked next to your child’s bed along with a good reading lamp.
- Have a book bag that you keep in the car for long drives, doctor’s appointments or other places you may have a wait.
More of our Favorite Tips for Raising Kids who Love to Read
Limit Screen Time
Experts recommend that children spend up to just one hour a day in front of a screen. (MayoClinic.org) That leaves many hours a day for children to fill with reading and creative play.
You will probably be pleasantly surprised when you notice that, as you limit the time your child spends in front of a screen, the more he will be drawn to the fascinating world of books. You will see his imagination come alive and he will be sucked in by the people, places, and plots contained within books.
Studies have shown that when you combine strong emotion with a particular event, it is more likely to be strongly cemented into a person’s memory. What better memories can we help create for our children than that of being snuggled up next to Mom or Dad, hearing their voice, and sharing a common experience together.
These stories can create a common thread within the family that can be a springboard for teaching moments, spark inside jokes within the family, and be remembered long into adulthood. Make reading together a part of your daily routine. It will be worth it.
Make Reading Fun
Reading doesn’t have to be a chore. Here’s a few things I’ve used with my family that have helped my kids associate reading with fun and magic.
- Every so often, after the kids go to sleep, I pull out new books (either from the library or a used bookstore) and I lay them around the living room on the couches and ottoman. In the morning the kids wake up to a treasure trove of fascinating characters and beautiful illustrations just waiting to be discovered and explored.
- Hold a family book report night. Once a month, my family gathers around and one-by-one each child (and parent) gets to present a very informal book report. They share their favorite part, least favorite part, and something they learned from the book. Add refreshments, and you have a party!
- Invite the Book Fairy to your home. This is a fun way to encourage your kids to read and add a bit of magic to your home as well.
We hope these tips for raising kids who love to read will help you create a more “reader-friendly” environment in your home. Maybe they will even spark some of your own ideas as you create treasured family reading memories and traditions for years to come.
If you found these tips helpful, please pin and share them with your friends. Let’s spread the word and get more kids reading.
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