It’s time for another amazing guest blog here at Little Lifelong Learners! This week I’m so excited to introduce you to Karly from Bookieboo. She’s passionate about children’s books and is here this week to share 10 ways you can raise an early reader!
The act of reading to, and with, your child not only helps to develop neural pathways and connections in their brain, but it also contributes to the building of a solid early language and literacy foundation. We know that having an understanding of the written and spoken word is vital for children to later meet the demands of everyday life and work, but research has also shown that early reading skills are associated with better problem-solving abilities and listening skills!
Make books and reading material accessible!
One of the best ways to foster a love of reading is to make reading, and reading material, a normal part of life. From magazines and recipes, to newspapers and even closed-captioning on the TV. Reading opportunities are all around us. Make sure to have book baskets available in each room, and to encourage little ones to access them independently.
Role model reading behaviours.
Following on from the last point of making reading a normal part of life, it is important that your children see you reading for enjoyment. Children are like sponges, so by seeing you make time and space for reading, they will naturally gravitate towards reading as well.
Read aloud every day (and make it fun)!
Dedicate time to reading aloud with your child each and every day, and make the experience a memorable one. Don’t be afraid to test out character voices and over the top expressions – it just adds to the experience! Reading together is also a great opportunity for bonding and snuggles, so be sure to get the whole family involved.
Incorporate reading into daily activities.
Going to the shops? Try reading aloud the different packages or current specials. Driving somewhere? Point out the road signs and explain that they tell us how fast to go and which directions to take.
Choose books based on child’s current interests.
Is your child fixated by trains or birds at the moment? Try choosing a book that appeals to that interest. This is a particularly useful technique if your child doesn’t seem to naturally be interested in reading, or if they struggle to sit through a whole book. Also allow your children to choose their own books!
One of the BEST ways to keep a child interested in reading is to use book rotation. This means that rather than having all books available at any one time, you rotate the books out on a regular basis – this could be monthly, seasonally – whatever works for you. It may also be helpful to rotate books by a theme, e.g., “in the garden”, or “feelings”.
As annoying as it may feel to re-read the same book upon request every night, children learn through repetition and familiarity. If there is a particular book your child is obsessed with, you can try offering other similar (but different) titles to see if that helps in changing it up.
Incorporate beyond the book activities.
A great technique to encourage further interest in books is to plan ‘beyond the book’ activities following a read through. This might be a craft activity or outing related to the book for example.
Choose the right books! Consider age, ability, interests, and developmental stage.
If you want your child to love reading, choose great books! Sturdy board books are great for young babies and toddlers (especially in a book basket), as they stand up to chewing and ripping, while picture books are fantastic for reading together.
Make use of free community events and resources!
Finally, check out your local library for free community events e.g., story time, and help your little one to get their own library card when they are old enough. Libraries are amazing places to find out about new books, and we need to keep using them!
I hope these little tips and tricks encourage you to not only make time for reading with your child, but to also look for different ways to incorporate reading skills into daily life! If you are looking for book recommendations or other fun bookish content, head over to my Instagram account @bookieboobox – we also do Storytime Live a couple times a week! Also be sure to check out www.bookieboo.com.au if you’re on the hunt to purchase some great books.