Babies are fascinated by books from an early age - so how do you harness that and keep them inspired throughout their childhood? Plus how do you inspire a child who refuses to read?
Here are our top 10 Tips.
1 - Read from Day One
Try to start a reading routine from an early age. Even young babies respond to the warm rhythm of a soothing book being read aloud - if you’re looking for tips on when and how to start our blog here might help.
2 - Create a reading zone
I can’t think of many children who don’t love a den. Somewhere they can call their own and go on imaginary adventures in! Get your little ones involved and create a reading den or nook to encourage them to get excited about reading time. Let them help design it so it is genuinely somewhere that they love to spend time. Then fill it with books on their favourite topics, the ocean, dinosaurs or animals. Try to make sure it gives them enough space to spread out and read.
3 - Mix it up
Keep little ones engaged by rotating the books and adding regular new titles. Storybooks are ideal for under-fives, as they love the simple narrative and bold illustrations, pop-ups and flaps. For children approaching school age, flash cards are a quirky alternative to leafing through regular wordy books.
4 - Re-read Favourites
Most Children love to hear their favourite books over and over again, night after night. (after night 🙂) Rereading books provides an opportunity to hear or see something that may have been missed the first time, and gives them another chance to hear their favourite part.
5 - Set an example
We all know our little ones look to us for inspiration, so if you want to raise a reader then you should read yourself (when do I have time for that? I hear you cry!). If you can be seen to be picking up a book and reading when they are around, no matter how fleeting it is, you will soon find your little ones copying. Your own interest in books will be contagious!
6 - Fill your bookcase
We know how often children change their mind so giving your little one options, and a variety of books will help them to get into reading. Having options means that they can pick the book that they are in the mood for that day.
7 - Library time
The library is a great place to find new and exciting books to either read there or to take home. It will help you achieve tip 6 above without breaking the bank. Libraries are designed to inspire children and are often laid out to encourage children to take time to read during their visit. What’s more, borrowing books from a library is absolutely FREE!!! Try and include a library visit in your weekly routine.
8 - Read at every opportunity
There are so many opportunities to read throughout every day to take advantage of. Think outside of just reading books, encourage your little one to read little things like menus when you are out at restaurants or road signs when you are out walking. Even children’s magazine’s are a fun and different way to get them to read. They could read out the grocery lists, notes to the teacher, or cookbooks.
9 - Express yourself
Reading expressively, using different voices for different characters and raising or lowering your tone helps keep younger children engaged. They love to hear the rhythm in your voice.
10 - Most of all
Make reading and storytelling relaxed and fun so that your child looks forward to it. There’ll be days when children don’t want to spend a long time reading, and that’s OK. There’s always a chance they’ll come back to it later in the day or even the next day!
If you are looking for some classic stories to start reading with your little one then we have some very special gift sets that include a classic book (in board book format so you know it will last) , a cuddly reading companion character from the book and some of our award winning little non-slip stay-on socks.
You can find them all here.
Have a wonderful day - and keep reading!