I absolutely love reading and wanted to make sure I passed this love onto my son. It breaks my heart when I hear children saying ‘reading is boring’ or ‘a waste of time.’ No matter how sleep deprived I’ve been or how many times Ralph has fallen asleep mid story I have read to him twice a day, since bringing him home at 2 weeks old. However, from speaking with other mums and dads it seems they sometimes just don’t know where to begin with establishing a reading routine. After off I know your probably exhausted trying to establish a sleeping and feeding routine. Therefore I have put together 5 tips. which helped me implement reading time and made it count.
Timing – A lovely time to share a book is before bedtime, those dozy sleepy cuddles you get are an added bonus too. It’s such a nice way to wind down from a hectic day and just spend some quality time together. The other time I read Ralph a story is in the morning before his nap. This is usually a non fiction, vocabulary expanding or activity book. This way I use these books as a platform to teach Ralph about the world around him. Even if you only read for 10 minutes here and there throughout the day it adds up and counts
Age appropriate books- Prior to 6 months it doesn’t really matter what you read to your little ones. However, to keep them engaged and develop a love it is best to try and stick to books which are appropriate for your little one. Ralph is currently 4 months old and I find he is more interested in books, which are colorful and contrasting.
Take books further – Throughout the day I try to revisit book topics with Ralph. Even though, he doesn’t have a clue what I’m chattering on about I think it is a good habit to establish. For example if we have read a book about farm animals and we are out in the car passing sheep or cows I will say ‘Do you remember the sheep in our story.’ Obviously as your child gets older you will be able to take this conversation further and adapt as necessary. I also try to pick out seasonal and occasion books or places we will be visiting such as: Halloween, Easter, Christmas, farms and museums. These can be used as a platform for conversation and further explaining the huge world around them. Remember reading plays a huge part in your babies learning and development and goes far beyond just literacy skills.
Pack a book – By packing a book and taking it with you, you will be normalising books and encouraging your child to associate books with pleasurable ways to pass time. If your child is old enough to chose their own books suggest they take a book on a car journey or if you know there will be a period of the day when you have to wait such as a Doctor’s appointment.
Visit your local library – I can’t stress enough how amazing our local library has been. They offer a fantastic range of books and have great staff, who have a wealth of knowledge you can utilise. Library’s will usually put on a story, rhyme and craft session, which I would urge any parent to take part in. Ralph has attended these session since he was 5 weeks old. At first I did question whether it was worth it as he would just sleep through them. However, at his recent weigh in the Health Visitor praised him for his communication and vocabulary skills, which were 3 months above his actual age of 4 months. So please make use of this fabulous and free service 🙂
Let me know when you started taking your little ones to the library or when you started reading to them? Do you have any more tips and tricks for encouraging your little ones to read?