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5 ways to encourage your child to love reading from an early age

Teaching your child to love reading is one of the best gifts you can give them.

Most parents and teachers would agree: reading is important. Some kids are naturally interested in books; others need some extra encouragement. Here are some things you can do that will encourage any child to love reading:

1. Visit the library

Make it a habit to visit the library if you can. It’s really nice if you can make it part of your weekly routine when your children are small. Most libraries have story hour and other programs for small children. Allow your child to pick whatever book calls their name. Then read it over, and over, and over, until you return it the following week.

2. Maintain a book giving tradition

Giving a book each holiday or birthday makes a statement. Your little one will love receiving the books when they’re small. As they get older, they may not show appreciation for the books (the teen years are coming!), but it still sends the message that books are something of value.

3. Include reading as part of the routine

Bed-time is a nice time to wind down and have a reading routine. Read aloud to your children every night if you can, or let them read to you. If that doesn’t work for your schedule, choose a different time, like before naptime for little ones or after school for older children. Just make reading a part of each day.

4. Be an example

More often than not, children do as they see us do. If your child sees you reading on a regular basis, that will be the norm for him/her. Pick up a book for yourself when you go to the library and enjoy reading as often as you can.

5. Create a reading corner in your home

Designate a special area in your home as a quiet spot for reading. Make it extra cozy, and create your own little library of special books. Keep a few classic favorites on a bookshelf easily accessible to your child. Choose books with colorful pictures and characters. The following books are preschooler favorites that you will be sure to read over and over again:

a. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
b. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin
c. Not a Box by Antionette Portis
d. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess
e. Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney

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