How to Develop a Love for Reading in Your Young Child

While I don’t believe that toddlers and preschoolers should be taught to read there are things you can do as a parent to develop a love for reading in your child at an early age.

A love for reading is important because the more your child loves to read, the more your child will read and children that read the most are the best readers.

How to Develop a Love for Reading in Toddlers & Preschoolers - #toddlers #preschoolers #earlyliteracy  - For the Love of Mom Blog - www.fortheloveofmom.org

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Make books accessible all day long.

Usborne Books & More suggests making three book boxes. You can use a small box (like a shoe box) or even a basket and put books inside. Then place one in the kitchen, bathroom and by your child’s bed. I think the idea is that you are encouraging your child to read during times they are just sitting around or when they are in bed.

I personally have my son’s books where he can reach them in his room and I have a box of books in my room where he tends to spend a lot of time while I work. He also gets to choose a book to put in his backpack when we go out, so he has something to read in the car.

The idea is to make books and “reading” a normal part of life for your toddler or preschooler.

Read out loud to your child.

Children that are read to a minimum of three times a week are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% on standardized tests. Don’t underestimate the power and importance of reading to your child!

Reward your child with reading time.

We’ve all experienced our child wanting to read the same book fifty thousand times. While this is truly wonderful, who actually has time to read the same book fifty thousand times? I will never deny my child a chance to “read” on his own but I can’t always sit and read to him all day long.

So, what I’ve started doing is letting him know we are going to read x amount of times and then you can read. Then, I’ve started using additional reading time as a reward or incentive (bribe?). It’s so much better than using food/treats as a reward!

For example, I will tell him when he cleans up his toys I will read him his favorite story. I also will use it as motivation to get him to get ready for bed faster. The quicker he goes, the more times we can read his favorite books (which are currently Nibbles the Dinosaur Guide and Volcanoes).

Using more reading time with you as a reward makes reading extra special and kids love extra special things!

Put books on birthday and Christmas wish lists.

The first few years of your child’s life is the perfect time to establish that books are an exciting gift. So, start early and be intentional about asking for books for birthdays and Christmas.

Create a fun theme day around books.

Make reading extra fun by doing activities or crafts that go alone with a book your child loves. For example, we recently read Dr. Seuss’ 10 Apples Up on Topand had a ton of fun with apple counting games and crafts. I am planning on doing a volcano and dinosaur day soon to go with my son’s current favorite books.

Go to story time.

Most libraries and even some bookstores offer a free story time on a weekly basis. We like to go to the one at Barnes & Noble.

Be a reader yourself.

The best way to teach your child to love reading is to lead by example. This may be hard for you if you happen to be a person that doesn’t love reading but, again, setting your child up to love reading will help him be a great reader. So, find something you do enjoy reading, even if it’s a magazine or a catalog!

Get comfortable, sit and read and chances are your little one will want to join you. My son gets very excited when he sees me reading a book. (And also, I’m pretty sure they have some kind of radar that goes off when mom gets comfortable!).

You can read your book out loud or let your child choose a book to read on her own.

Developing a love for reading in your child is really not complicated but you do have to be intentional.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Kindergarten Readiness Series.

Inez Bayardo _ For the Love of Mom Blog _ www.fortheloveofmom.org

About the Author

Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources. Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.