Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell, was published in 1960 and has inspired many children to build a fort. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be a 12-year-old girl stranded alone on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean?
Reading books is a great way to inspire a child’s creative mind to begin visiting imaginary places. Many factors can help children develop a love for reading:
Be A Role Model
When parents read to children, they begin to experience the wondrous places and experiences available to them in books. Just like when our tikes watch us cook and then use what they have learned for pretend kitchen play activities, the same thing occurs with books.
Encourage Children to Read by Themselves
Reading with children is a positive experience. Encouraging tikes to read on their own (or with you) is taking it to the next level. Making sure they have books available is one key to enticing them to read. Model reading to your children by reading on your free time as well. Maybe you sit and read your book while your child sits and reads his/her own book at the same time. It’s a perfect time for silent “Mommy & me” or “Daddy & me” bonding.
Go slowly and let your tike look at the pictures extensively. Ask questions to make sure they are engaged. If they struggle to retell the story or to read the words, then it might be time for a different book.
Read Favorites Over & Over
Parents might think reading the same book again and again is boring, but toddlers and school age kids often love to read their favorites 100 times. Repetitious reading is a great way for kids to focus on speed and accuracy.
Pick Books to Match Reading Comprehension
If a book is too easy it will be boring. When books are too hard, then children get frustrated. This is a Goldilocks moment in each child’s life.
Create a Reading Nook
Design a special nook for your kids to read and you might find it becomes a safe refuge for them – a place where they can escape to the magical and fantastical worlds found in their books. All it takes is a few comfy seating options, a book display, and a fun carpet to make your nook a hit!
Insert Creativity into Reading
Ask your child to create a book with you. Fold and staple paper together like a real book. Add words and illustrations, then read it out loud together.
Go to the Library
One of the fun things about going to the library is empowering children to choose their own books. They can look at the cover images and see-touch-feel the books to help make their decisions. It’s experiential and it allows children to show individuality. If you want them to read certain books, then provide those as options. Ask children to make a pact with you – if they are given the opportunity to choose three of their own books to read, then they must promise to also read the one you choose for them.
Choose a Series of Books
Series of books allow kids to get comfortable with the characters, theme, and tone. It’s a great way to encourage reading since your children will want to go back and get the next book in the series.
Help Kids Learn About Language
By discussing the relationships between words, littles will grow in their understanding of language and their vocabulary will benefit as well. Play word games to keep this time light and fun.
Make It Real
Asking your tikes questions about the reading so they can see how it applies to their personal life is one strategy for helping the story’s message resonate.
Praise Little Ones for Reading
When parents love music, it is not shocking when their children grow up to love music. The same can be said for sports. Kids tend to gravitate to many of the same activities that they see bring joy to their parents. If they see you enjoying quiet time with a good book or getting excited about a trip to the library, chances are they will follow in your footsteps.
Recent Newbery Award Winners and Honor Books
- When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller
- Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
- We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly
- A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat
- New Kid by Jerry Craft
- Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
- Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams
Learn more about Children’s Factory, Angeles and Learning Carpets early education products on our Amazon Store.