As a child, one of my favorite activities was reading. This love of reading and later, writing, helped lead me to major in English in college, become a college English instructor, and learn more about the world than I ever could have without books. Because books enriched my life so heavily, when I had kids, I wanted them to love reading as much as I did. Luckily, most of them do. We inspire a love of reading in our kids using the following methods.
How We Inspire a Love of Reading in Our Kids
To help your kids fall in love with books and reading, you need to immerse them in the reading world.
Read Aloud to Them
From the time our kids were born, we read aloud to them. At first, we started with short board books like Goodnight Moon and The Going to Bed Book. (At this stage, don’t be surprised or annoyed if your child asks you to read the same book over, and over, and over again!) Then we expanded into longer stories until we were reading our kids chapter books when they were in preschool. I continued reading to them all through middle school.
Have a Home Library
To foster a love of reading, surround your kids with books. We always had bookshelves filled with books the kids could look through when they were little and read when they started school.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do this. For example, we picked up most of our kids’ books at garage sales for 10 cents or less.
Take Them to Library Activities
The public library is a wonderful resource that we utilize frequently. We started by bringing our kids to the library to pick out their books and to join in on story hour. Because of these early experiences, our kids always associated the library with fun.
Participate in Reading Rewards Programs
In the summer, sign your kids up for reading rewards programs. For example, Pizza Hut has the Book It program. Your public library likely has a reading program, too. Our son was one of the top readers one summer in elementary school, so he got to join the other top readers for a bowling and pizza excursion compliments of the library. He still talks about how much fun that was.
Let Them See You Read
Kids learn best by watching your actions. You can tell them that reading is fun, but if they don’t ever see you reading, you’re not reinforcing that lesson. My kids see me read books and hear me listen to audiobooks in the car. I love to read, and they see me regularly taking time to do so.
We inspire a love of reading in our kids, which was one of the best things we could do. Today, they still read for fun and recreation, enjoy learning, and have an exceptional vocabulary.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.