10 Ways To Create Little Readers

As parents, we all want to create good habits with our kids, right? In our family, one of those good habits is reading!  I want to instill a love for books deep into my children's souls.  I thought I would share some of the ways we have found that help create a love for learning and reading into little minds.

1.  DON'T FORCE IT.  I don't want my kids to think of reading as a punishment, or a chore, so it's never forced.  I offer to read stories to them often, and when they say "yes", I jump on it!  I don't really care what we read, and I usually let them pick, but I won't force them to read if they aren't in the mood.

2.  KEEP BOOKS IN ALL THE ROOMS.  Another way we encourage reading for our little ones is by keeping stashes of books accessible to them in pretty much every room in our home.  I don't want them to feel confined to reading in certain places, or specific time slots, so we leave books where they can get to them no matter what part of the house they are in.  

3.  KEEP THEIR INTERESTS IN MIND.  It's important to remember that even small children will have their own likes and dislikes.  Even as a mom of twins, I know that my girls like different things.  Keep books around that you know will hold their interest through more than one reading. Learn what your kids are interested in, and then make sure to have books on that subject on your shelf.

4.  MAKE IT FUN.  I have learned that when I read to my girls, they are way more focused and into the story when I get into it too.  It's not always comfortable, and it can feel strange, but getting into character, so to speak, is a great way to teach kids that it's OK to have an imagination.  I'll change up my voice and sometimes even my facial expressions will change depending on the story.  Keep it exciting for them, they will be back for more!

5.  BE A ROLE MODEL.  I try to let my kids see me reading as often as possible.  I am trying to show them that even grown ups enjoy reading.  It's one of my favorite things to do, so this isn't a hard one for me.  Let them see you read.

6.  NO BRIBES NEEDED.  I don't see the point in offering bribes for reading.  I don't believe you can set a positive tone about reading if you have to bribe your kids to do it.  It goes back to not forcing it, but offering to read with your kids often, and making sure it's something they are interested in.  

7.  AUDIOBOOKS STILL COUNT AS BOOKS.  If you are like me, and you spend a lot of time in the car with your kids, wether it's running errands or driving to and from school, audiobooks are a fun way to take reading on the go.  Load a few of their favorites on your iPhone and let them listen during the day's errands.  It can be really fun for them to hear books read by people other than mom and dad, and nowadays, there are so many kid's books on audio that you won't have a hard time finding some of their favorites.

8.  LIBRARY ACTIVITIES.  Check your local library for fun reading activities for kids.  I know ours has monthly calendars that I usually keep on our refrigerator.  Getting kids out of the house and into a library is another healthy habit you can start with them.  They usually have weekly story times broken up by age group, and sometimes they do fun activities and crafts too.  Show them that the library is a pretty cool place to be!

9.  BOOK BAG ON THE GO.  I have a tote that I like to keep filled with books for when we are going to be out and about.  I usually keep this in my car so that if we are going to an appointment or even just the grocery store, I can pull out the book bag and keep them entertained.  I love board books for this exact reason.  They are so easy to take along and I don't have to worry about the pages getting ripped or wrinkled since I'm handing the books over to them.  I usually swap out the books in my bag once a month just so they don't get bored with the same ones over and over.

10.  CREATE A BOOK NOOK.  If you have the space in your home or in your children's bedroom, set them up a little comfortable reading space of their very own.  You can have a reading rug, a cute lamp, some comfy chairs, or even floor pillows can create a space that they know is their very own reading space. I love these little woodland floor pillows! Who wouldn't want their very own book nook??

Remember that as your kids go through different stages of life, most likely their reading habits will too. They may go through stages of loving to read, and then wanting nothing to do with it.  I believe it's important to stay consistent, and sometimes getting creative.  Maybe you read to them in the same room while they play instead of them sitting on your lap like they used to.  Just continue to offer reading time together with your kids and enjoy those sweet bonding moments that you share when you are reading out loud together. 

**To purchase the book pictured, click here!