Reading is such an important part of growing up, especially in this day and age when screen time has become so prevalent. If you’ve been following along for a little while, here on the blog or over on my Instagram, you’ll know how important reading is in our family. Books help kids develop a positive imagination and creative thinking in ways an iPad cannot. Creating good reading habits start when kids are young, which will in turn help them become strong readers and students when they are older.
Kids aren’t simply born with a love of reading, it’s something that you can foster and grow over time. Here are my top 5 tips to help your kid(s) develop good reading habits. And, to sweeten the deal, make sure to check out the amazing program that Playtex Baby is running right now with Amazon.ca. All the info is at the bottom of my post (hint: it involves a fantastic discount).
[ 1 ] Read yourself . Your kids emulate everything you do. It’s how they learn. So make sure you’re setting good examples by reading yourself. If your kids are sitting down with a few books themselves, grab a book or magazine for yourself and join them. I know it’s hard in today’s technology age to not use that downtime to catch up on e-mails or scroll through Instagram (I’m guilty of that all too often), but try and rediscover that love of reading yourself and your kids will quickly learn how important reading is for the whole family.
[ 2 ] Read every day from day one . Kids love routine, so it’s easy to see why daily reading would make them into little bookworms. This applies to babies as well – there’s no such thing as starting to read too early! If there’s one thing my husband and I do consistently when it comes to parenting, it’s reading with our kids. It’s part of our bedtime routine as well as throughout the day if we want to sit down for a few minutes (which, let’s face it, is quite often). We’ll grab a book for the kids and read to them, whilst drinking a cup of coffee or just putting up our feet and enjoying that little rest. It’s a moment of downtime for all of us.
[ 3 ] Visit the library often . If you’re lucky enough to have a local library nearby, it’s such a great place to discover new books (and it’s completely free!). Let your kids roam around and pick out books that spark their interest, you might be surprised what they come back with! (For example, Nicky has been heading to the language and travel sections lately.) Any books that they keep coming back to and really love, we’ll order off amazon.ca so we have them at home. It’s a great way to test the waters before creating your kids library at home.
[ 4 ] Create a dedicated reading space . Pick a comfy spot in your house to make into a dedicated reading space. It doesn’t have to be filled with a ton of books, but have several easily visible and accessible and have that spot be somewhere you read consistently. We’ve got several spots in our house with kids books (like our bedroom here) and our kids now actively seek out these spots when they want to read a book. Or, conversely, they’ll grab a book out of habit when we’re in that spot.
[ 5 ] Reread favourite books . I know rereading the same stories over and over again becomes pretty tiring for us adults, but it’s the way kids learn to read themselves. They love spotting things they’ve missed and learning to connect the words they see with those they hear. Before you know it, they’ll read the story back to you!
Right now Nicky’s absolute favourite book is Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever. He pulls it out at least a half dozen times every single day and points to the different objects, screeching (aka asking someone to repeat the word so he can learn it himself). Speaking of Richard Scarry, Isabelle loves his Please and Thank You Book and has for over a year. We enforce a daily “rest” for Isabelle, where she’s in bed on her own with a couple books that she picks herself, and this book is often part of her selection. Another book that’s been a long-time favourite at our house is Hand Hand Finger Thumb. Nicky loves it right and, back in the day, it was one of Isabelle’s favourite books as well. We also really love the Berenstein Bears books at our house. My mom kept them from when we were young and I love that Isabelle is just as obsessed as my sisters and I were back in the day. She especially loves The Berenstein Bears Go to School and The Berenstein Bears learn about Strangers right now.
Now onto the good stuff: March 29th through April 26th, anytime you purchase a children’s book through amazon.ca, you will receive $5 off select Playtex Baby products, as part of their #PlaytexReads program. You can read all about the program details here. We love Playtex Baby’s Diaper Genie system and they also have a great assortment of baby bottles, pacifiers, and feeding accessories.
What are your favourite ways to help your kid(s) develop good reading habits? Leave me a comment below!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Playtex Baby. All opinions are my own.