I remember my bedtime routine as a child and I always looked forward to one activity – nightly bedtime story. That’s when I completely became obsessed with reading. As an pre-teen, I was really into the Sweet Valley High series, I read them cover to cover in pretty much one sitting. As a mom, I have to say that I haven’t read as much since I’m running around with my two clowns. But, whenever I have some time to relax, a book is the first thing I pick up.
Inspiring your little ones to turn to books and have a natural thirst for knowledge will help them later in life as adults. Here are some tips for encouraging the little bookworm in your toddler.
Believe it or not, your child is learning more than you know when you read that same book over and over again. The Dr Seuss ABC book, I remember my Abby repeating “bubble, baby” sounding like a broken record. Children love reading the same book many times over – it’s how they learn, associating pictures with words and participating in the story telling. Also, setting a routine time of the day can help your child look forward to reading time, making it even more special.
Ask questions after you read the sentences on the page. Go beyond what is said on the page and ask your child to point out what is most interesting to them. What’s your favorite picture on this page? Really? Why? Because it’s so colorful?
Have books everywhere
Don’t hide those books! Put them on display. Your child will not look at books if they are stored away or not facing forward. I used to have large baskets and would place them next to the couch.
One book that I would recommend is Dr. Gentry’s Raising Confident Readers in which he offer at-home activities to develop literacy early, naturally, and joyfully appropriate to the child’s age. The key is to introduce the right activities at the right time.