There is so much joy to be had from a good book. Books spur our imagination, take us to other worlds, make us laugh, cry, and teach us so much about life and the world around us. Plus, reading provides a critical foundation for success in school and in life. Fostering a love of reading early in life is important – here are a few ways to help your child love to read.
1. Become a reading role model.
Children take cues from their parents. Like so many facets in life, model the behavior you want to see. If you want your child to love reading, let them see you read for fun. Tell your child about the books you are reading, your favorite books of all time, and what you love about reading.
2. Read together.
One of the best things a parent can do with their child is to read together, routinely. Even if your child is a baby, read, read, read. If you have an early reader, take turns reading. One fun idea is to choose a book with an upcoming movie adaptation so you can take a special outing to see the book come to life on the big screen.
3. Listen to audio books.
Like books, audiobooks create a shared experience between a parent and child. Plus, they make a reading experience more interactive, as actors and actresses perform the stories in various voices. Audio books are also convenient, as families can enjoy them together on road trips, while doing household chores, etc.
4. Visit your local library often.
Statistics show that in 2019, more families visited their local library than movie theaters. Libraries are wonderful resources for communities, providing a fun place to play and learn for children of all ages.
5. Take a trip to a Little Free Library.
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Little Free Library sites are popping up everywhere and you’ve probably seen these in your own neighborhood! Don’t forget to donate an old book when you take a new one so your book can find a new loving home.
6. Find books that excite your kids.
If your child doesn’t love to read yet, perhaps you haven’t found the right book that’s tailored to their interests. Don’t be afraid to step out of the age and reading level list of suggested books and explore different book genres and topics that excite your children.
7. Participate in a reading incentive program.
From baseball tickets and free hamburgers to arcade tokens and a trip to Six Flags, there are several places in Chicagoland that offer just enough freebies to get your little bookworm making reading a habit that they’ll grow to enjoy.
8. Designate a reading nook in your home.
Whether it is under a play tent or on the couch in the living room, having a quiet, cozy reading space sets the tone to avoid distractions and let the magic of books to come to life.
9. Attend local free storytime events.
Change up the scenery by taking advantage of free storytime events in Chicagoland. There’s so many to choose from, you can go to multiple events each week!
10. Gift them books.
Whether it is for a birthday or holiday, suggest that family and friends gift books to your child, and inscribe them with a special note they’ll cherish for years to come.
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This article originally published on March 23, 2020. It has been updated with the most recent information.