Right this very moment my nine-year-old daughter CAN NOT put down Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Her eyes gulp down the words while her imagination dives into the depths of the wizard world. It’s the 11th time she’s made the same journey not counting the first time we read the book out loud together last summer. To say she loves to read carries the same weight as she loves to breathe. She was not born a reader in the same way that she was, well, born to breathe. However, her love of reading began practically at birth and certainly long before she heard the name Harry Potter or even knew that those marks on a page meant anything!
To celebrate Book Lover’s Day, try integrating some of these reading tips with the young children in your life.
6 Family-Friendly Ideas for Raising a Reader
- Start reading early. Your child loves to hear the sound of your voice. So go ahead and snuggle with your newborn and a good picture book. Talk about what you see on the page. Let your child feel the pages. Board or bath books are ideal for young readers, who may prefer to “mouth” the book while listening.
- Let go of expectations. Reading to your child does not always usually look like you might think. A baby may prefer to stick a book in her mouth or a toddler may not sit in your lap, much less sit still. If your child loves to move, choose books that encourage it, such as From Head to Toe by Eric Carle, Wiggle by Doreen Cronin, or Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig. Children learn by moving so why not tap into it with the books you read!
- Read e-books together. Research shows that e-books can encourage even reluctant readers to love reading. Look for e-books that highlight the word as you read along. Check with your local library for a selection of e-books available. We also recommend the Reading Rainbow App with more than 500 e-books, including the Kindemrusik Music Mountain!
- Let your child pick out the book. Yes, this might mean reading (again and again) the same book or a gigantic book about dinosaurs or snakes or ballerinas who wear cowboy boots. Yes, we know it might not be what YOU want to read, but your child will love hearing it!
- Turn up the reading by turning on the music. Actively participating in musical activities supports early literacy development by increasing a child’s ability to process sound, introduces them to new vocabulary, imbeds the rhythm of spoken language, and boosts comprehension skills–all foundational reading skills.
EatRead Your Green Eggs and Ham. Being able to hear and identify words that rhyme is the earliest phonemic awareness ability. That is just a fancy way to say that you understand that words are made up of different sounds (phonemes). It is an essential skill to reading. So, go ahead and eatread your Green Eggs and Ham.
Looking for more recommendations and tips on reading with young children? Follow our “Books for Kids We Love” board on Pinterest.
Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer in the Atlanta area. She loves passing on her love of reading to her two young daughters.