The Latest
April 23, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Picking Books: Let the Kids Do It

Kids will love reading if you will allow them to take the lead on their choices, says the American Library Association. Further, to increase a child's interest in reading, make an effort to read to your youngster every day, and employ these other tips to encourage your child's love of reading:

• Babies love when you sing and read to them and tell them stories, poems and rhymes…and even small babies can enjoy books.

• Board books and bath books are often the first books for children to love. They can be treated as toys, but they will help them learn how to handle books, how to turn pages and how to enjoy the shapes, colors and pictures.

• Tell your baby and young child nursery rhymes and repeat them often.

• Let your child choose books with colorful pictures and simple words — or no words at all.

• Encourage your toddler to point out objects, repeat words, and talk about the story.

• Children often want to listen to the same story again and again. This is fine, as it builds confidence and familiarity with words, and reinforces that stories are fun.

•Try to share books together each day, and not just at bedtime.

• Help your child develop reading comprehension. Instead of reading the story straight through, ask the child open-ended questions about the story: "Why do you think Goldilocks ate Baby Bear's porridge?" "What do you think will happen next?"

• Read or tell stories in the language you are most comfortable with. It doesn't have to be English!

• Tell stories about your family and your culture.

• Visit the library. Ask about story times. Borrow books to share with your child at home.

Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Be an example to your children; let them see you read books too.

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.