I am sure many of you know, I am a parent. I have an eighteen month old tiny human named Ever, and he is the coolest. One of the biggest things I want to implement in my kid was a love of reading. I am guilty of not reading to him every day like I should, but I know he loves books. He gets excited to carry them around and flip through the pages. He mimics me because he sees me reading. I read to him a lot when he was smaller, and I want to read to him more often. But he currently hates to sit still, making read a book an almost impossible task.
While I am not a magical person who can say, do this and you will have a reader, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on reading to kiddos and building readers. I am also currently working on my MLIS, specializing in public libraries so maybe I am just doing this as a way to talk about what I have learned so far and my experiences.
It is pretty easy, just read to your baby. When they are small, read them anything and everything. Read them board books, the little chew books, talk to them about books, and maybe even read the book you’re reading so they just hear words.
Make reading fun. If you can, do the voices and the sounds. Have fun with the book and let the kiddo be a part of it. Even if that means they chew on the book, and you make up the story, you are still connecting with them in order to read a book in their own way.
Read and share that you read. I read all of the time and Ever sees this. Because of this, he mimics me and wants to read as well. He likes to carry around his books and turn the pages. He also is curious about me. Just show them reading is a fun activity, and they will learn to build their own positive relationships with books and reading.
Building readers is not so simple, I think. I know when kids get older, they may like different books or want to read in a new way. The beauty of the library now is that they have so many options. Your kiddo can use Hoopla or Libby. They are picture books in ebook format, audiobooks, graphic novels, comics, and even just books at the library. When they are small, just read them books they think are fun. Of course learning is important and work with them when they are ready, but I think just letting them pick out their own books and have fun with it helps.
Ever currently loves Daniel Tiger books, Paw Patrol, books about cars, and books about going outside. But whatever books he will like when he is older, I will be all for it. I want him to love reading in his own way,
Like I said, I am studying to be a librarian and I think it’s important to use the library. Check out the summer reading program and even the winter one. Try out an online story time. Foster a love for reading in your kiddo in whatever works for you.
Books are awesome, and I hope Ever will love them as much as I do when he is older. And always remember, there is a book for every reader…so just be patient when your kiddo is testing out what they enjoy reading.