Inspiring a love of books in your child

8 May

How do you get your new baby to love books?  Is it something that we can nurture or does it depend on the child? As a new mum, reading to your baby is a great habit to get into early, it will set the groundwork for when they are older.

 

baby learning to read

I am very lucky that my oldest child (of 3) loves books.  She has since a very young age, and continues to love books to the point of often reading too much – she will read anything she can get her hands on!  Both myself and my husband love reading and have always tried to pass this enjoyment onto her.  From an early age, we read to her consistently and have accumulated many many books over time.  In fact, her idea of the perfect day out consists of a visit to Waterstone’s!  We are now in the process of trying to convince her brothers that reading is fun…unfortunately, not as easy a task!!

Some of the early baby ‘classics’ are worth buying if you haven’t already received them as gifts.  For babies, they are best bought as board books as they are more robust and better withstand being chewed! Recommendations include: Goodnight Moon, Dear Zoo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. As your baby gets older, some further goodies include: The Gruffalo, Peepo, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Each Peach Pear Plum, and Room on the Broom.

How can you get your child to love books? These are not guaranteed methods, but are worth a try!

Tips to encourage a love of reading…

1)      Ditch the Kindle every once in awhile – babies and children are great mimics, what they see you doing and enjoying, they will want to do as well.  If they see you reading an actual book, it will show them that you love to read.  They might not understand that your device is used for reading.

2)      Read babies books that encourage feeling different textures or opening flaps, they will enjoy getting involved.  The series of books ‘That’s not my…’ are brilliant and will be loved as favourites.

3)      ‘Reward’ your child with an extra story at bedtime.  If you make reading books a treat, they will start to see it as something special.

4)      Incorporate a bedtime story into the baby’s bedtime routine from a young age.  It doesn’t have to be a long story, it could be a few pages to start! They will start to look forward to their nightly ritual and won’t want to go to bed without it.

goodnight routine reading to baby

5)      Make trips to the library and / or bookstore fun and exciting.  Let them look through different options and choose one or two books to take home with them.  Build up your own library at home of their own books and they will start to have pride in their books.  Make them accessible e.g. on a bookshelf as opposed to in a drawer, if they have pride of place, they will be used all the more.

Reading from an early age will continue on into adulthood.  It adds to a child’s imagination, vocabulary, comprehension and can decrease time spent on electronic devices or game consoles.  Give your baby a great start and enjoy your special time reading together.

Do you have any book recommendations of books your baby / child loves?

 

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