Children are just naturally curious and want to learn from day one. They soak up information and habits that parents and care givers have, so that is why it is so important to be aware of what you are projecting onto your child. Reading is a wonderful escape and lets us learn about the world and other people while building vocabulary and brain function. We all know this, but a lot of us seem to forget reading when we get older, and tend to watch more TV and movies. Here a few tips that will encourage them to develop a life-long love of reading.
Things You'll Need:
Un-interrupted time with your kids
A few fun, colorful books
A quiet room
What You Need to Do:
Start reading to your child when he or she is still a baby. They may not understand, but it has a calming effect and sets the stage for later reading. It is also another way to get close to your baby and create a bond. Babies and small children love books with bright colors and pictures. Board books are also good for this age group because they like to play with the books, and they have a tendancy to rip pages out of regular books. Be patient with them, and if they want to stay on one page for a long time, or skip ahead pages, oblige them, and just take it at their pace.
Create a routine if you can. I know we all have busy schedules and sometimes work and time don't allow for this, but if you can, try to have set reading times with your child, so they know what to expect, and can look forward to it.
As they get older (2-3yrs), let them help pick out their favorite books at the store or library so you can be sure you are satisfying their own personal reading preferences. I know my kids have their favorites, and pick them out time and time again. They never seem to get tired of them, and repetition helps them to learn and recognize words.
Call or visit local bookstores and libraries to find out if they offer story hours. These are fun because it is an outing, which kids love, but there are also other children there, and it just makes it so much fun for the kids. It creates a hype and gets them even more excited about reading.
It is also a good idea to join a childrens book club, where you can get new books regularly to introduce new things to them and keep them interested. These are great because you get books at a discount, and they are usually the best books out there for children.
Finally, set a good example for your kids. Read your own books, magazines, and newspapers around them. Let them know how much you love reading, and pass along the passion to them.
Tips & Warnings
There are also great potty training books for kids out there. They really helped when my son was leaning.