Reading! Reading! Reading! As a speech therapist, I always tell parents that reading is one of the best ways to improve a child’s language skills. Reading increases the variety of words that your child is exposed to and aids in increasing their vocabulary. Reading also encourages creativity and discovery. I can’t say enough about how important it is to read daily to your child.
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Here are some tips that have helped make reading fun for my son and easy to incorporate into our daily schedule:
1. Go to the Local Library
We are spoiled with a fantastic public library just minutes from our house. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but I encourage you to try to find a local library that you can visit regularly. Our library has activities such as toddler story time, movement time (music and dancing), bedtime stories in PJs, as well as book clubs and lego clubs for older children. It also has a huge children’s area with puzzles and a variety of toys for children to play with.
Even though we have shelves of books at home, my son would pick a library book over one from home any day! He enjoys picking books out himself. We have a designated spot in our house where we keep a bag full of 15-20 library books. At 2 years old, he will literally sit for almost an hour some afternoons wanting to read book after book.
2. Read Before Bed and Nap
This one is probably more common, but I still felt like it needed to be on the list. Even for a newborn, it doesn’t hurt to get in the habit of reading a few books before you put your child down for a nap or bed. My husband and I switch off bedtime duty, but we both allow him to pick out 2-3 books (unless be convinces us to read more) to read before saying his prayers and going to sleep.
3. Limit the Use of Technology
Maybe even use it as a reward?
I will try to avoid getting on my soap box on this one, but limiting technology is a sure way to increase the amount of time available in your day for reading. Don’t get me wrong, my son does watch television and (after turning 2) gets very limited access to the iPad; however, technology should definitely be used in moderation.
For example, my son usually picks out a Dinosaur Train DVD to check out at the library along with his books. We just have a rule that he has to read all of his new books before he can watch it. He has never seemed to mind!
Here are some more fun indoor activities to try with your child too!
4. Read a Book Related to an Activity You Can Do After
This idea is super fun and easy to do! You can pick a book about a specific activity that you can do as a family later. Here are some examples:
- Read a book about pets and then visit the pet store
- Read a book about the zoo and then take a trip to the zoo
- Read a book about birds and paint a bird house
- Read a book about bugs and then go to the park and look for some (my son loves bugs!)
- Read a book about the beach (or other location) before you take a trip
- There are countless other options to think of!
5. Let Them Read the Same Book Over and Over
As I mentioned above, we visit the library often and are always reading new books. That being said, at bed time we typically rotate the same books over and over again. Some of his past favorites have been Green Eggs and Ham, Go Dog Go, Baby Shark, and The Bug Book.
This reading time allows him to better anticipate what is happening next and even begin “reading” the books himself. He seems super proud of himself whenever he is able to finish a sentence in the book or even recite an entire page. Both new and old books can be fun to read!
Here are some of my favorite books for reading with children:
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- Peck Peck Peck
- I Love You, Stinky Face
- Little Blue Truck
- Hugs and Kisses
Thanks for stopping by!
I hope these ideas and tips were helpful to you as you try to make reading fun for your child! Let me know if you have any other ideas or questions! I would also love book recommendations as we are always looking for new ones to read!
Until Next Time,