Every parent has the bookworm daydream, where they read every night to their little ones, then raise a little genius with a love for books and classic literature. However, those daydreams rarely pan out—and many parents wind up with book-hating kiddos. Luckily, there are a few methods that you can use to encourage your youngsters to read more often and love it.
Pay Attention to Their Interests, then Invest in Books for Those Hobbies and Passions
Does your kiddo love arts and crafts? Is he an oceanographer-to-be with a passion for all things sea and shore? Or, is she a miniature baker, always cooking up something delicious in the kitchen? These kinds of interests and hobbies are gateway ideas for the next books you can buy for your youngsters. Invest in how-to, DIY, or fact books that incorporate your child’s interests in every page.
Start Early with Nightly Bedtime Stories
Bedtime stories are a classic must for bolstering a love of reading within your kiddo. It doesn’t have to be every single night, but a few times a week is a good start. Start a bookshelf of bedtime favorites that you and your little one can flip through together. You could even create small labels for the bookshelf, showing your kiddo exactly where their bedtime readers are.
Play a Game Where You and Your Kiddo Make Up Stories Together
There are plenty of fun games that incorporate and encourage a love of reading and make-believe, so employ one of those. Sit down and make up stories together. You could even make this a bedtime ritual, where one of you leads off with a storytelling paragraph, and then the other adds onto it—until you have a fully fleshed-out, probably silly, super-fun tale to tell together.
One more method for encouraging a love of reading is a book club or summer reading program. These are often offered to kids of all ages at your local libraries, and the programs often provide rewards for a set number of books that a child successfully reads. Sure, there are prizes for goals, but the real reward is the new appreciation for literature that these kinds of programs instill in children.