Some ways to raise a fu­ture book­worm

Tehran Times - - LIFE - (Source:

Read to your child

A no-brainer, but su­per im­por­tant. Read books, mag­a­zines, the back of a ce­real box, ev­ery­thing. The Read­ing Is Fun­da­men­tal Or­ga­ni­za­tion notes that not only does read­ing to your child stim­u­late their imag­i­na­tion, but it also makes your older chil­dren want to im­prove their read­ing skills and en­cour­ages them to hit the books, too.

Buy age ap­pro­pri­ate books

I know that you can’t wait to read “Lit­tle Women” to your daugh­ter, but at two, she may not be able to sit through it. Go ahead and buy those copies of Harry Pot­ter, but en­cour­age your child to read with age ap­pro­pri­ate books, even if it’s just a board book full of three word sen­tences and pic­tures.

Take them to the li­brary

When your chil­dren see how many books there are and how ac­ces­si­ble they are, they’ll be even more ex­cited to pick up a story or two. I ab­so­lutely loved go­ing to the li­brary as a kid, es­pe­cially when I was let loose in the chil­dren’s sec­tion and al­lowed to take home as many as I wanted.

Make a des­ig­nated time for read­ing each day

Like rest time, screen time, and snack time, read­ing should have its own des­ig­nated time of the day. Maybe it’s af­ter they wake up from a nap, or early in the morn­ing when you’re still cud­dling in bed. But a des­ig­nated time means your kids will look for­ward to it and know that there won’t be any in­ter­rup­tions or huffy sighs from you be­cause you’re too busy.

Have your child’s books ac­ces­si­ble to them

My daugh­ter has a bas­ket in every room full of books, plus book­shelves she can reach her­self. When the books are ac­ces­si­ble, you’ll find that your child is drawn more to them and will pull them out on their own to read.

Tell sto­ries even with­out a book

Kids love to hear sto­ries and they love to learn. Make it a point to tell sto­ries even if there’s no book present, like in the car or while you’re mak­ing cof­fee in the morn­ing. They’ll want to pick out books just to keep hear­ing sto­ries.

Let them choose their own books

I know you have a list of books you want them to read, but let your kids take the lead on this one. Lit­tle kids have so lit­tle con­trol over their lives that it’s easy for them to feel like they don’t get a say in any­thing.

Read books in front of them

Ac­tions speak louder than words, right? Put your phone down, turn off the TV, and put away the lap­top. Pull out a book when you’re all do­ing your own thing, and you may find that your kid wants to read too, sim­ply be­cause you’re do­ing it.

Ask them their opin­ions on books

Talk to your kids about the books they’ve read. Did they like it? Why not? What was their fa­vorite part? What made the char­ac­ters good or bad? A book doesn’t have to end once the last page is turned, so keep the con­ver­sa­tion go­ing. Maybe you can en­cour­age your child to find a new book they liked bet­ter, or one in the same genre if they loved it.

Make read­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence

Do voices. Point out but­ter­flies, cows, and col­ors on each page. Pre­tend you’re on stage per­form­ing a play. Read­ing can be so ex­cit­ing when you get into your role as nar­ra­tor, and your kids will be beg­ging for just one more chap­ter.

In­tro­duce your fa­vorites

Kids love to hear about what you were like when you were younger, so use that to your ad­van­tage. Talk to your kids about the books you loved when you were lit­tle, and what they meant to you. Es­pe­cially for kids who are on the fence about read­ing, this ac­tion may pro­pel them to choose the same ones you did be­cause they trust your opin­ion.

Don’t make read­ing a chore

Read­ing should never be a pun­ish­ment or a chore. That’s a very fast way to make your kid hate books and read­ing.

Cre­ate a space made only for read­ing

Re­mem­ber the read­ing ar­eas in el­e­men­tary school? Ours were full of twin­kle lights, big soft places to sit, blan­kets, and even tents. Cre­ate a read­ing spot in your home, but make sure it’s re­served only for read­ing. No tablets or iPods or Net­flix al­lowed in the read­ing space.

Choose books based on your kids’ in­ter­ests

This is es­pe­cially great for re­luc­tant read­ers, but it helps for even the avid book­worm. If you know your kid is re­ally into space, pick out books about NASA, the plan­ets, or sto­ries fea­tur­ing a char­ac­ter with the same in­ter­est. No­body wants to read a book if they’re not in­vested, not even kids.

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