for the longest time, i have had a huge love for books and i always imagined my kids too. but i didn’t start from the get-go. i didn’t focus much on reading with addison until she was about nine months or so and slowly it’s progressed. we read at night to wind down, we keep books in the car as entertainment on short trips, both andrew and i encourage it as a part of her life.
below i wrote some tips on how we’ve encouraged reading over the past few years because now, at three years and one month, she is obsessed with books. (next week i’ll share what ones we’ve been loving lately for kids!)
ask for books as gifts. around holidays and birthdays, ask for gifts to grow your collection that you’ve had your eye on! i keep a running list on amazon of kid books that i want to add to our collection so when asked, i always have titles on hand. the girls’ grandparents also love getting them books for holidays so it always adds an element of surprise for what book they’re going to get next.
understand the definition of “reading” will change. there was a while when we first started where addison would sit in my lap and focus on the pages. then there was a long time where she wasn’t interested or would sit for a page or two and then get up and do her thing – that’s the stage i’m at with amelia right now. around two though, addison started getting back into books again and would sit in my lap and listen. sometimes we would get through the whole book, sometimes she would hold it and we would read the same page twelve times. now that she’s three, she’s a hundred percent back into it and we’re reading multiple books back to back because she can’t seem to get enough knowledge.
engage them. as they get older, start using books as teaching tools. ask them questions like “where’s the mama fish?” or “how many apples are on the tree?”. addison LOVES being quizzed right now and sometimes she’ll ask herself questions and answer them.
use your library. for the longest time, i kept thinking i had to own the book because if she really liked it, i would want to read it again. i was also nervous to check out books because i was afraid addison would rip the pages out. not the case though! she has been very respectful to library books because i’ve explained to her that we are just borrowing them. also to touch on the point of wanting to read it again, if we check a book out that she really does love, i just add it to my list! it’s so much easier than buying and not loving it. the library is a great resource to test drive books before clicking purchase!
let her read to herself. most often than not when i read to amelia, she’ll take the book into her own hands and start babbling to herself like she’s reading it. i let her. she’s really into looking at the pages and flipping the flaps when i get the peek a book books that have the extra flaps. it keeps her busy and active with books.
store the books at their level. all the girls’ books are accessible to them at all times. we have a bookshelf in addison’s room that is filled on the lower shelves with books so she can read them whenever she wants. we also have a bookshelf sling in amelia’s room where she can reach her books at any time too. it’s perfect for both of them and because the books are at their fingertips, both girls are constantly “reading”/playing with them.