How to Instill an Early Love of Reading in Your Child
One of the best things I’ve ever done for my daughter started before she was even born. For my baby shower, I asked all of the guests to bring a children’s book instead of the usual greeting card, and to sign the book for my baby. I was determined to instill an early love of reading in my baby. The response to this request was wonderful! People really enjoyed going down memory lane with me and picking up their favorite stories for my daughter to enjoy. Some of the grandparents even went a little nuts and got us some amazing sets of books! In the end, I received an absolute treasure trove of children’s books, many with sweet notes inside that I know my daughter will love as she gets older.
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Reading has always been a huge passion of mine, and I wanted to pass down this love to my daughter. I was thrilled with the wide array of books I now had to start reading to my baby when she was born! I got this cute little book shelf for my daughter’s nursery that holds books and her toys and I was so excited to put things away (see how the bookshelf looks in her nursery below)!
During the last month or so of my pregnancy, I started reading some of the books aloud so that my baby would hear my voice as much as possible, and so I could pick out some of my new favorites to read to her. I really loved Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, Good Night Owl and Good Morning Sun for their sweet stories and colorful pictures.
Make Reading a Part of Your Daily Routine
After my daughter was born, I continued to read to her every day, and she was enraptured by books even as a newborn! Every time I read to her, I would point out the pictures of animals and letters and colors. It became a great bonding time for us! After she was about 8 months old, I knew for sure that this was sinking in with her because I would catch her “reading” on her own, and she would be pointing out the pictures and words just like me! People were amazed by her love of books at such an early age!
Keep Books Within Reach
We continued to amass more and more books as she got older, and her collection eventually spilled out onto two more shelves and her closet. We kept the board books meant for babies down low where she could see them, and from the time she was big enough to stand, she has been picking out her own books for us to read every day. We also kept books with us wherever we went. I always keep a few of these Highlights Magazines with me in my purse to keep her occupied during trips to the grocery store and other errands. I also keep a small stack of books with us in the car in the backseat organizer so that she can read during longer car rides.
Make Reading Fun
Touch-and-feel books have always been my daughter’s favorites, and pretty much any book that has a mirror in it! She especially loves this B is for Bear book for both of these reasons.
My daughter has loved these Alphaprints books since she was just a couple of months old. The pictures are large, super bright and colorful and have raised “fingerprint” patterns that she can run her fingers over. The ABC book was her favorite for many months, and she would stop me reading so she could kiss the animals with smiley faces every time we read it. So hilarious and cute!
Watching my daughter grow in her love of reading and books has been one of the biggest thrills for me as a parent. I can see her learning new things with each turn of the page, and her world is expanding beyond the confines of our home. Her little imagination is continually growing every time we read together. Now that she is a toddler, she can pick out objects and colors herself in the pictures, and she has developed a love and appreciation for her favorite animals and characters.
What are some of your tried and true methods to get your little one to love reading books? Let me know in the comments below!