We love books, and we are aware of how much they have accompanied us through our lives. Books are an endless source of information, but also an endless source of inspiration.
Books adapt to our ages and interests, and offer us and our kids a window to new worlds, cultures, stories and fantastic adventures.
As book lovers and parents, we want our children to share that same love for them that we have, but with today’s technology and so many fast moving distraction, is impossible not to wonder if our children will end up enjoying the magic that lays behind of finding a great book and losing yourself in it.
Reading enhances their imagination, gives them information and helps them to learn to focus on one thing and avoid distractions, so how do we bring our kids to love reading for the rest of their lives?
Here are our best 5 ways to get your children reading, and loving it.
Lead with example
Our children learn mainly by imitation, what they see is what they reproduce at their early stages, if they see us always checking our phones or looking at a screen that is what they will take as a habit too. So read to them, with them and around them. Choose stories for them that fit their personalities and the things they already love and let the magic of the books do the rest.
Books are prizes not punishments
Many times we have seen parents or even teachers using reading as a punishment, or a forced task to be done that is received by the kids with annoyance and sadness.
We strongly suggest to do right the opposite and use books and the activity of reading as a prize to celebrate good behavior, a celebration or just happy time to enjoy and relax. If your little ones associate reading to a positive situation they will most likely enjoy it forever.
Reading is an activity that can begin as early as we want, even in the belly, some parents choose to start reading their future babies so they get used to their voices and the musicality of reading.
Later on, books can be brought early to calm them down and as they grow to show them the world. Is important to read them with them even when they can’t read yet, so they get used to be focused and looking at the pages of the book.
Take fun trips to the library
Get your children familiar to the library as a place where great fun things happen. Go to your closest library and check out their activities calendar, is very common to find activities for babies and toddlers, story times, bilingual stories and even musical activities.
As they grow show them all the possibilities that libraries offer now a days, how to find books, how fun it is to pick as many as you want and take them home with you for a few days.
Create and interaction.
While you are reading to them as they are still babies, ask them their opinion on what you are reading, make it fun, ask them to find stuff in the illustrations of the pages, make the sounds of the animals and change voices.
But as they grow and start being able to read by themselves, don’t stop reading together with them, keep that bonding activity happening, and now just turn that interaction on reflexions on what you are reading, what it means, what would you do in that circumstance that the books is describing… keep the reading experience alive.
Reading is an amazing life long experience, and what it’s great about it is that it only takes one excellent book, one story that captivates us to get hooked on the habit of reading. We all remember that book that made us stop and fully swim in a story, we might even remember who gave us that book and the little corner we sat to read it for ours.
As parents we can be the person that will hand them that amazing book, and from there they will keep on hunting for the next life changing story.