It should come as no surprise that reading is a very educational activity with numerous cognitive benefits and there is actual data to prove this. Numerous studies have shown that children who read have higher IQs, bigger vocabularies, better problem-solving skills as well as a more developed emotional intelligence. However, in a world run by technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise a book lover. But this isn’t an impossible goal for a parent.
The trick is to nurture a child’s love of books from the early years because the love of books is irreversible. Once you feel it, it will stay with you for the rest of your life.
1. Start with creative baby books
Rattles, stuff animals, teething toys and bath toys are all great toys for a baby under the age of one. However, it doesn’t hurt if you throw in some books in the mix. We are not talking about classic paper books, but about books designed specifically for babies. Made of plastic, felt or cardboard, these books are a great way to introduce your baby to books. Moreover, they are great for developing their senses. Some even feature sounds and other stimulating elements that will get your baby’s attention.
2. Choose educational toddler books
The first years of life are essential for the brain development, and books can be great for stimulating a child’s brain development. To make your child as interested as possible in books, opt for educational books with stimulating features. You can even order personalized books online. A personalized children’s book will feature a baby’s picture and name, so it is guaranteed to get their attention. A custom book is also beneficial since it is during the toddler years that children start developing a sense of self and confidence. And what better way is there to build a child’s confidence, than by making them the hero of their own story.
3. Read to them as often as possible
Bedtime reading is a routine for most parents, but you can also read to your child at other times during the day. In fact, reading can be integrated into numerous other activities. It can accompany cuddle time, it can replace TV time, and it can even happen during meals, to keep the child entertained while eating. The more often you read to your child, the more likely it is for them to see reading like an activity that defines them.
4. Build them their own library
Developing a sense of personal property is very important in the early years of childhood. As such, it is more likely for children to appreciate books, if they have their own library and have access to their favorite books as often as they want. For the best results, opt for a colorful bookshelf that will be easily accessible to your child, from the moment that they start crawling.
5. Buy them books that match their interests
If your child is passionate about a certain cartoon or TV-show, they will surely love reading the book version of that story. You can also choose books based on your child’s hobbies, or books that feature their role models. Moreover, to encourage reading, make sure to turn it into an activity that they would enjoy. For example, if your child is competitive, consider a family reading competition. You can also build them a themed reading nook, based on something that they love.
6. Visit the library
Once your child is old enough to go to a library, make sure to take them there as often as possible. Use your narrative skills to help them see the library as a magical place, filled with endless stories and adventures. Borrowing books from the library is also a great way to teach children about commitment and responsibility. Make sure your child understands from the start that it is important to take good care of the books and return them within the given timeframe.