We want our children to read every day to develop their literacy skills, but we don’t want it to be a chore that they dread doing (and we dread enforcing). Reading should bring our children joy, spark their curiosity, and open their minds to exciting real and imaginary stories.
President, National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
Families play an essential role in inspiring a love of reading and providing children with books that reflect the diversity of the world around them. So, it’s important to show our children that reading is more than spending 20 minutes a day with a book. Try these fun ways to encourage your child’s love of reading!
Read aloud together
Start a family tradition and add a storytime to your evening routine. When you read a book out loud with your child, you are modeling expression, articulation, and emphasis of written language. It’s also a low-stress way to bond as a family and create memories you’ll treasure. You can make it interactive in a way that works for your family — have new readers point out words or read short sentences, while more advanced readers can take turns with you. Have your child select a book they love or find a popular book series that the whole family can enjoy. Poetry, jokes, and favorite TV/movie character activity books are great options, too.
Discover new points of view
If you want to raise an informed, inclusive child, look no further than your local library. Books can introduce your child to ethnicities and cultures that are different from their own, and they’re a great way to teach them about the wide variety of people they’ll meet throughout their lives. Reading about other people’s routines, traditions, and communities exposes your child to new vocabulary words, concepts, and experiences, and grows important character traits like compassion. You can also share written and oral stories about your own family heritage to reinforce your child’s identity and confidence.
Encourage reading beyond books
Demonstrate the importance of literacy by applying reading to everyday life activities. Point out to your child how often you read as you go about your day — menus at restaurants, food labels in grocery stores, and signage while shopping. At home, you can read the instructions to a game or toy, follow the directions to a science experiment, or learn a new recipe to cook a meal together. These habits will motivate your child to develop their literacy skills and grow their confidence in their ability to navigate the world.
We hope you have fun doing these activities with your children. It will lay the foundation for your child to practice the joy of reading throughout their life.