How to Raise a Kid Who Loves to Read
We live in the age of iPads, but that doesn’t mean your kid can’t get just as much joy tearing through The Giver as she does playing Toca Life. Here are seven ways to help her love reading just as much as you do.
Read to Them as Early as Possible (Like, in the Womb)
Before you even meet your little bookworm-to-be, you can lay the groundwork for him to become a voracious reader. A study by Pacific Lutheran University found that babies start learning and understanding language inside the womb. So if you consistently read aloud in a soft, soothing voice while you’re pregnant and continue the routine when he’s an infant, you’re already ahead of the game.
Make Reading Together a Ritual
When dirty dishes are still in the sink, you haven’t showered and you need to make your child’s lunch for tomorrow, it can be tempting to skip her bedtime story just this once. But if you consistently make it a priority, your kiddo will learn that getting cozy and reading is calming, enriching and important time (and a great way to bond with her parents).
Don’t Worry About Sticking to Their Reading Level
If your six-year-old is begging to read Harry Potter, there’s no need to wait until she’s older. Read one chapter together every night, and by the time you get to Chamber of Secrets, she’ll be the one reading it to you.
Find Books About Their Passions
So your kid is obsessed with dogs, begs to go to the zoo and dreams of being a vet. Stock his bookshelf with the best animal books you can find, from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Julie of the Wolves.
Get Inspired By Movies and TV Shows
Great news: Tons of kids’ movies, like Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, were originally based on books. So if your child is obsessed with the movie version, chances are she won’t be able to put down the novel, either.
Make a Weekly Visit to the Library
You might not have set foot inside since your last college final, but now that you have kids, it’s time to become a regular. Get your child his own library card (and maybe take him out for ice cream after he gets it—show him that this is a big accomplishment). He’ll feel so grown-up choosing which books he wants to borrow and keeping track of when they’re due.
Help Them Build Their Own Collection
Ultimately, your child is taking her cues from you. So if you have a bookshelf full of things you like to read, she’s likely to want to create her own personal library, too. Put a bookshelf in her room, or save her some space on yours. She might even keep her prized favorites to read to her own kids.