Motivate Your Child to Love Reading



Toddlers are sponges that soak up information and behavior just as well as sponges soak up water.  They learn each day by watching and hearing the adults in their lives.  Parents play a huge roll in molding their children into the adults they will become.  Learning comes easy to children, but as parents we can help steer our children onto paths that will give them the best life possible.

At an early age we can prepare our children to love learning and love reading.  Now, toddlers will not be able to read because they have not formed neural connections that would help them decode letters and combine them into words, but there are ways to foster a love of reading at this early age. 

Below you will find easy ways to increase the probability that your toddler will be an advent lover of reading.

1. At this early age it is important to show toddlers that books are important.  The best way to instill this importance is to begin to read to your child as young as 6 months.  They may not be able to understand what you are reading, but they will love hearing your voice. In addition, they will love the  special time set aside for reading with you.  In 2000 the National the Center for Education found that 26% of children who were read at home 3-4 times per week recognized all the letters of the alphabet compared to 14% who were not.  So get started and buy board books and cloth books that babies can touch and explore.  Even point to pictures and read with great enthusiasm.

2.  As your child gets older maybe around 12 months old, start visiting a library.  Each week visit a library and read books to your child. .  Most libraries have weekly reading programs for toddlers and parents.  Take advantage of these programs with your toddler.  In addition, allow your toddler to pick out books they find interesting.  They will be able to see a variety of books and come to think of the library as a valuable resource for learning.  They will also begin to look forward to going to the library and picking out books.

3.  Point to the words with your finger as you read.  Go from left to right with your finger.  This will help your child to realize that words have meaning and reading starts from the left side of the page to the right.

4. Ask questions when reading and give your child a chance to answer.  Involve them in the story to keep them interested and to improve their critical thinking skills.

5.  Buy or check out picture books.  Let your child look at the pictures and tell you the story.  Also, point to some of the pictures and ask them what they see.  This will increase their imagination and help with their vocabulary and thinking skills.

6. Make books accessible around the home.  Keep books where your toddler will be able to get to them easily.

Following these simple steps will increase your child's love for reading.  They will enjoy weekly visits to the library and the books that help them to  imagine.  Books open up so many possibilties for knowledge.  Start early and reap the benefits once your child begins school.

The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons
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(price as of Oct 7, 2013)