Raising a Reader – Steps 3 & 4

3. Keep books available. Make it easy to read. Kids of any age shouldn’t have to ask permission to read or look at books.  Have age-appropriate books completely available to them – to touch, to read, to hold, to snuggle with, to play with, to look at without worry of harming the books.  Teach them to be gentle with the pages and buy your books from a source who offers a 1/2 price replacement guarantee whenever possible, so you don’t have to be as concerned about your child damaging books.  If you are a neat freak and can’t manage a whole shelf of books taken down day after day, have the shelf higher, and a basket of just a few on the floor available to younger children.  Keep a tote bag of board books in the car to help keep kids of all ages busy while you’re running errands.  Have a stack of books on the nightstand to amuse early risers. Pack a variety of books while traveling.  Activity cards, hole punched in the corner and put on a book binding clip or thread over a piece of leather cording can be a great way to keep children happy in a car and the cards all together.

4. Be a reading role model.  Show your children that you value reading.  Read for your own pleasure in their presence and tell them how much you enjoy reading with them.  Use lots of inflection when reading aloud to make the story come alive.  Try to use different voices for different characters in the story.  Take them along on trips to the library and book store.  Read the newspaper and share what you’re learning with them at the breakfast table.  Even when you’re online, find ways to show your children that you are reading – not just looking at images on a screen, playing a game or listening to music.  If you value reading, your children will value reading. 

Have fun reading today!


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