How to Foster a Love for Reading

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Books are essential treadingphotoools for children’s development: it helps them make sense of the world around them, teach them life lessons, and promote language, listening and comprehension skills, and eventually early literacy and patience. Reading to your child on a daily basis is an excellent way to encourage a love for books and learning, and a great opportunity to discuss issues or appease your child’s curiosity

Choose and let them choose

Beautiful artwork, realistic characters and stories are best in the first few years of life. Think pleasing images, beautiful illustrations as opposed to unrealistic drawings or fiction books. Additionally, allowing your child to choose his books will increase his interest in reading!

A book for every milestone

There is a book for every big moment of your baby’s life. Seasons, celebrations, social interactions (sharing, making friends, using manners, biting, hitting), milestones such as weaning, toilet-readiness, first dentist appointment, a new baby in the family or more difficult life events such as separation, hospitalization, etc… I have seen firsthand how helpful books can be in preparing for life-changing events or stressful situations.

Reading and talking about how they can relate to the story will provide them with a great opportunity to make sense of the world around them and bring a sense of comfort to your little readers during difficult times. “Why do you think this little girl is upset? Does this happen at daycare?”.

Lead by example

Children learn to imitate in infancy. Teach them to manipulate books gently from an early age and read, read, read. Pick up the book you have been longing to devour and be a positive role model for your child! Go to the library and spend time reading together there. Make it part of your weekly routine if at all possible and display books where they can be accessible to foster self-interest and curiosity. Some children love to be read to, and others love to pretend reading. Encourage your child to describe what she sees, and let her imagination go wild!

A little nook goes a long way!

Have you noticed how being cozy and comfortable can enhance the experience of reading? I personally love a warm blanket and a hot tea to go along with my book. Finding a little corner where your child will be comfortable will make a big difference – you could use a soft rug and a couple pillows, a tent or a comfy chair in the living room. Little wicker baskets filled with books around the house, a little collection for the car, daycare, the waiting room, the grocery store, and even bath time – books are welcome everywhere!
And remember : “The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” Roald Dahl


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