Start in the Womb
Talking and reading to Baby while pregnant gives a good head start on a love for reading. It may seem silly at first thought, but your baby can hear your voice and other sounds outside the womb. Go to the library and get some great books to read to your Baby while inside the womb. You can even attend storytime. Many baby stores sell special headphones with a microphone attached made especially for parents to talk to their child while in the womb. Simply place the headphones strategically on Mom's pregnant belly and speak into the microphone. I did this with all of my children. It was fun to see and feel their kicks when myself and other family members read to them.
Read to them Daily
Once a child is born, read to them daily. While they may not at first know what you are talking about, fostering a love for the written and spoken word starts with habit. By establishing a routine that includes reading books, kids will just naturally love them. Reading books together is great for bonding, enhancing imagination skills, and for relaxation modes like naptime and bedtime. Really anytime is a good time for reading books and by making that clear, you are teaching the kids to love books.
Let them See You Read
If you always insist upon the kids reading, but don't do it yourself, they may not understand the value of books. Let the kids see you with magazines and books. When it's their reading time, be sure that you read something for yourself. This may be your college textbooks, a novel, or a lifestyle or career magazine. It doesn't matter what you read, as long as they can see you also have a love for reading.
Join Library Clubs and Visit Library Often
The library is an amazing resource for helping kids love books. Of course they can check out books with their very own library card. But they can also participate in storytime, reading and educational activities, and even free reading programs. Many libraries offer a special reading program during the summer that allows kids to earn prizes and awards based on the number of books they complete. Check with your local library to see what they offer.
Stock Plenty of Books
Keeping plenty of books around is a must when establishing a love for reading. This can mean having a family collection or visiting the library often. Doing both is also a good idea. However, if you wish to be as earth-conscious as possible, utilize the library for as many books as possible. How the books are acquired is not as important as the fact that they are there.
Play Reading Games
Playing reading games helps make the thought of books and reading fun for kids. Choose a variety of activities and games to keep them interested. Reading games might use books to accompany them and some may just use reading as a basis.
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*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network