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Early Childhood Education

6 Ways to Create a Love for Reading

Photo: Courtesy of Josh Applegate

Do you wish your child loved to read? Here’s how to instill a lifelong love of reading in your child.

1. Walk the walk

Read from the day your child is born until the day she leaves the house. Read with your kids, but also let your kids see you read.

2. Develop a routine

Develop family reading rituals like reading before bed, snuggled in a chair or sitting together on the couch as a family, reading your own books on a Saturday morning.

3. Invest in their story

Create a home full of books and book talk: books on your night stand; books on the coffee table; books in the bathroom. While you are reading, ask your child questions about the book, so she can make connections and share wonderings as you read. You can use this information to help your child choose his next book at the library or bookstore.

4. Keep books on the brain

Instead of asking, “What did you learn today?” ask: “What did you read today?” Talking through answers to these questions is a fun way to spark conversations about reading.

5. Create personal shelf space

Have a special bookshelf for your child’s books. Decorate it. Prominently place it in her bedroom. Let kids choose their own books grounded in their interests and passions. Help your child figure out his or her interests by asking these questions: If a book were written just for you, what would it be about? If you could be an expert on any subject, what would it be? What are two things you are really curious about?

6. Celebrate book ownership

Get excited when you add books to the bookshelf and take time to revisit those books that are a bit dusty and worn. Help your child understand that it is a privilege to own books, one that sadly millions of children in our country don’t have.

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