According to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all.”
I completely agree! Your imagination can change the world. And flexing that muscle through reading books is crucial for all of us, but especially kids.
So how do we get our kids to love books? Equip your preschoolers with early literacy and a love of learning as you encourage reading in the following fun ways.
1. Let Your Kids Choose the Book
Whether your child is into dinosaurs, cars or princesses, let her browse the selection at your local bookstore or library. Like you, she’s more likely to want to read if she’s interested in the book’s subject. We think owning books is important for kids. They make books for kids about everything under the sun. I'm sure your little one can find something that gets her excited.
2. Add Expression
Turn any story into an entertaining and engaging experience with expression, energy and drama. Let loose, get silly and make sounds, use an accent and sing as you show your kids that reading is fun. My daughter loves me to read The Magic Treehouse books to her before bed, and she says that the voices are half the fun.
3. Encourage Pretend Reading
Sometimes, I skip the printed words and make up a story based on the pictures. My daughter gets a kick out of our silliness, and I’ve caught her pretending to read books to her stuffed animal friends. Imagination is the key. And priming them to relate good experiences with books as much as possible is how we have the best chance to get that to stick for them.
4. Put on a Play
If your child likes to play dress-up, act out her favorite children’s books. Include props and costumes, invite friends and bring your child’s favorite stories to life.
5. Attend Library or Bookstore Storytime
Join the Storytime at Murphy’s Used Books on Tuesday's at 11 or find a local Storytime near you as you enjoy fun and engaging literary outings with your little one.
6. Host a Reading Picnic
Grab a blanket, lunch and book, and head outdoors for a picnic. Your child’s favorite doll, bear or friends can join you for lunch, storytime and fun.
7. Cook a Book
Numerous children’s books discuss food, snacks and beverages, so use these books to inspire cooking sessions with your preschooler. My favorite examples include Goldilocks’s porridge, gingerbread people, and green eggs and ham. (Try it. I never said it looks great. But, it is yummy.)
Reading together is one of the best ways you have to bond with a young child. It is a huge factor in success later in life and we owe it to our kids to try everything we can to make it habit in their lives... no matter how silly it can make us look in the short term.
We should all bond with our children and read together every day. I know, I can hear you questioning how in the world you’ll make time to read each day to your busy preschooler.
Why not read the breakfast cereal box or road signs? You can also build words with magnets or create a reading fort as you share books with your child.
Anything at all can make a difference.
The First One is on Us :)