10 Ways for Parents to Foster a Love of Reading in Children

The CMDS 1st Grade teachers – Lauren Blythe, Leslie Morgan and Catherine Bunker – have compiled a list of 10 ways to instill a love of reading in your child.

1. Read books that you loved as a child to your children.

Seeing you excited about a book will automatically make your child excited about the book as well. Adding a personal anecdote about why you love the story and who you remember reading it to you will make it even more enjoyable for them!

2. Talk about the book as you read together.

Asking questions about the characters, setting and plot as you read ensures that your child comprehends the story. Sharing opinions and making predictions can create a fun mini book club environment for you and your child.

3. Have a daily read-aloud or silent reading time.

Reading before bed is not only a great way to wind down, but is also an easy way to squeeze in a consistent daily reading time. However, daily reading does not always have to be at nighttime. In fact, reading during other times of the day as well can help foster a love of reading.

4. Make connections from your life to the book you are reading with your child.

At school, we practice making text-to-self, text-to-text and text-to-world connections. Relating what is happening in the story to your own life, another story you have read or even a movie is another way to increase comprehension and create an emotional attachment to the story.

5. Expose your children to different genres of literature.

Many children love fiction stories; however, exposing them to nonfiction texts, biographies, graphic novels, magazines, cookbooks and more could introduce them to a whole new area of interest and may even spur reluctant readers.

6. Download apps or purchase audio books for your children to listen to.

Although nothing beats holding a book in your hands, there are many great online and iPad options as well. For example, storylineonline.net has many great stories read aloud by celebrities with interactive pictures. Word Wizard, Epic, MeeGenius, Raz-Kids and Storynory are also great resources. Listening to stories helps children build their fluency.

7. Allow children to create their own stories.

Children love being authors! Staple together a few pages of paper and let them write. Bare Books has great blank, hardcover books if you are looking for a keepsake. However, Amazon and the Target dollar section, at times, have blank books as well.

8. Have your child put on plays of his or her favorite stories.

Whether it’s making finger puppets out of popsicle sticks and paper sacks or raiding the dress up closet, acting out stories is a great way to attach meaning to a story. Additionally, by retelling stories in a fun way, children practice comprehension strategies without even realizing they’re learning!

9. Frequent the public library and local bookstores.

Exploring a library or bookstore is a great way to expose children to new literature. It is exciting for them; however, it is also important for them to understand how a library functions. Often times, libraries or bookstores even host a story hour: a fun and free activity for the younger ones.

Busy schedule? If your child’s class orders books through Scholastic, this is another easy way to get them really excited about a new book without leaving the house. Circling books in the catalog and anticipating the arrival of the infamous book box is a sure fire way to get them excited about reading.

10. Create a log of books to read together and a log of “Bucket List” books.

How neat would it be to have a list of all the books you have read? You would feel so accomplished! Goodreads.com is a great website that allows you to log and review books you have read. It is also a great way to discover new books. Helping your child create a list of books to read will help keep them reading and build excitement for the next book on the list.

Above all, aim to make reading a fun experience for the whole family!

Christ Methodist Day School opened its doors in 1958 to 75 kindergarten students. Since then, CMDS has stayed true to its Christian elementary school roots while continuing to thrive as one of the best private schools in Memphis. Come see why we are the primary choice for so many Memphis families.


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