Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Five Ways to Give Children a love for reading

 Photo credit: emilywjones
I believe that reading to very young children is of the utmost importance, but most articles I have read have focused on teaching an older child to read. I want to focus on the importance of reading in VERY young children (as in babies and toddlers). This will be the beginning of a two-part series on Literacy for very young children.

1. Read to them. A lot. Read children's books. Read adult's books. Read fiction. Read non-fiction. Read magazines. Read newspapers. Read cereal boxes. Just read. Out loud and often.

2. Give children access to a variety of materials. Doodlebug is only 18 months old, but she has constant access to children's books and supervised access to other materials. If I am reading a magazine and she wants to look at it, I let her. I let her hold it, point at pictures, and turn pages until she starts tearing it up. Then it gets put away until later and she can look at a board book, instead.

3. Listen to books on CD. They are still absorbing the words, enjoying the story, and building vocabulary by listening.

4. Let your kids see you reading. Not just on the computer (speaking to myself here). My brother and I always saw my mom reading, and we wanted to do it, too.

5. Go to the library. It was one of my favorite places as a child. We would explore the different sections and find new literary loves. My mom always had us pick a classic off the shelf before any others.

How do you encourage love of reading in your kids?

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