As a mom, you get “first dibs” on influencing your child’s brain. Time and time again, studies have shown that reading while pregnant has a positive effect on a child’s development early on, and it continues as they grow. Reading early, and often, has been shown to have positive effects on a child’s language development, interactions and bonds with parents and peers, and helps them learn about the world around them. You want to keep the learning curve moving in the right direction, so it’s important to begin reading habits when your child is born, and encourage daily reading throughout childhood and adolescence.
Check out these tips for making reading a part of your family’s daily routine.
- Expose your child to reading materials, whether at home or with weekly trips to your local library. Giving your child opportunities to read often will increase their interest in reading.
- Make time to read aloud together and make it special. For little ones, make time each morning or night to read together and cuddle with them. For older kids, take turns reading each page of a favourite book.
- Make it a daily habit. It’s easy for schedules to fill up with school and extracurricular activities, but it’s important for children, and adults alike, to make time for reading each day. Encourage your child to read for 20 minutes before bed each night, and over time a fun story for kids will loop them in and they’ll want to read for longer.
- Look for unique reading opportunities wherever you go. It could become a reading scavenger hunt! At a restaurant? Ask your child to read the menu. In the car? Ask your child to read the street signs. Making dinner or a fun dessert? Ask your child to read the recipe card. Grocery shopping? Have them read the numbers for prices. The possibilities for reading activities for kids is endless.
- Variety is the spice of life. Expose your child to a wide range of books and stories. Each new book exposes a child to new information, concepts, places, and people!
- Be sure to choose age-appropriate reading materials on interesting topics so children do not get discouraged, or bored.
- Don’t forget to make reading fun! Choose books that interest your child or create silly voices for different characters or actions; this will help keep your child’s attention. Keep them engaged by asking them questions, which will aid in reading comprehension.
- Always show interest in your child’s reading. Through showing interest and providing positive genuine praise, children will be more prone to continue working towards good reading habits.
Do you remember your favourite story as a kid? Create those new happy memories with your kids with a reading habit to last a lifetime. Consider rewarding your child with a fun day at The Little Gym. Whatever approach works best for your family, establishing good habits in children needs to be a year-round priority to lay the foundation for healthy lifestyle as they grow.