Make them love books! - FamilyEducation

Make them love books!

February 08,2010
Craftivity Corner
Allison McDonald

Allison McDonald is a former preschool teacher who now spends her days learning with her 3-year-old son and baby daughter. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband and two children.

I love reading, I love libraries and I adore children's books but I don't think I was born like this. I think it was something instilled in me, and already I see it deeply instilled in my son. These tips come from my experience as a less than stellar reader, a teacher who studied early literacy and a mom who pays more in library fines than in life insurance ( that might be an exaggeration but I am afraid to tally the real amount). 1. Start early. Don't wait until your child is old enough to hold a book to read to them. Start when they are born. Create traditions right away. Read before bed, read before nap, take the favorites on all your overnight trips too. Make it part of the routine immediately. 2. Have a large library. Kids are both fickle and oddly attached to certain books. Despite my admission to large fines at the library , if I broke it down to how many fines I have in comparison to how many books I usually have out at a time it's tiny. I max out my allotted books often. That's 100 books out at a time. So even if you don't have much money to spend on books as long as you remember to take them back you can have a vast number at your house for your child to enjoy for free. 3. Take advantage of story time at the library. Not only is it free it makes the library a fun place for kids, it's one time you don't have to worry about shushing them and they can experience how books can spark a lot of fun. Also many libraries have story times in the evening and weekends for families that are not able to attend during the day. 4.Read yourself. This is key. Make it well known to your child that you are reading, even if it's something online instead of saying " Mommy is on the internet" say " I am reading a story about XYZ." What they see us do is far greater a sermon than what we tell them to do. 5. Play with books. Play library or bookstore at home, get play money , a pretend scanner and a pile of books. My son loves doing this and often directs house guests on how to be good story time participants. Last but not least don't give up. Children don't always show interest in sitting quietly for books until they have mastered the basic gross motor skills. Offer often , encourage but don't force it.