Two Steps Away from Loving to Read

Some kids just seem destined to be readers. As a baby her eyes light up when a picture book is opened. As a toddler, she is engrossed in a ten-page board book for hours on end and as a teen, she pines for the next book in the series she’s been reading all year. Record scratches. Yeah, they’re not all like that.

If you start reading with them when they are babies, you’ll be way ahead of the game. But if you have preschoolers or older kids who can tell you all the latest tricks to getting to the next Mario Cart level but rarely crack a book open, here are two easy steps to taking a non-reader or a lukewarm reader to literary bliss!

First, take a trip to a local book store or brows Amazon together. I prefer doing the bookstore trip because it feels like a special outing and gives you and your young potential-reader the opportunity to feel, smell and interact with actual books. See what your child is drawn to. This will be different for varying age groups of course. Read summaries in the book jackets or on the backs to help choose.

Second, save the book until baths are done and the chaos of evening time activities are dwindling. Once your child is in bed, and anticipation has definitely built, take out the book and make reading a “special time” for all of you. One book I often read to my kids has a simple poem that goes like this:

The day is done, the night has come
The moon shines overhead,
You’re warm and safe 
And never alone,
You’re very loved my little ones.
The angels dance, the fairies prance
Your dreams await my little ones
Now rest your eyes and sail the skies
Go to sleep my little ones.
If you can imagine dimmed lights, soft pillows, hushed voices and the soothing sound of Mommy or Daddy reading this poem–
I think you can imagine how a child can come to love reading. The book is simply the bridge upon which memories are built and that is the connection they need! If your kids are tweens or teens, just pick books that suit their preferences, but don’t change the steps. Read to them. Read with them. Just read. Two simple steps with a reasonable amount of consistency and you’ll be amazed at the results!
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