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Is Your Child Hooked On Books?

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Mom started reading to us when we were still in her womb. She was determined that we would love books because she knew they would open new worlds for us. Mom made reading fun. She would snuggle with us in bed as she read our favorite bedtime stories. When we got a little older, she would read a chapter a night of a bigger book like The Secret Garden or Mandy.

Those special bedtime reading rituals are cherished memories I still have today, but they are more than memories. I continue to love reading and I’m so grateful that the good reading habits I had as a child, helped me throughout school and even now in my current career.

The holidays are a great time to start some reading traditions. A few simple tips to get your little one hooked on books!

Children under a year

  1. Snuggle with your child as you read to equate good feelings with reading.
  2. Look for age appropriate books with bright simple, pictures with few words.
  3. Use rhythm when you read. Clap to promote baby’s natural sense of rhythm. Brown Bear is a perfect book for this.

Children 1-2 years old

  1. Let your child turn the pages of the book as you read so he feels part of the reading experience.
  2. Use silly voices, make animals noises and add drama. It will get your child extra excited about the story.
  3. Make your own book with your child’s baby photos. We love Shutterfly’s albums where you can add text and pictures. Your child will love reading the story of her own life.

What reading tips do you have for your little one?

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32 Responses to “Is Your Child Hooked On Books?”

  1. Colleen December 1, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    One tip that we got early on in my daughters life was to make books fun, like a toy. I was kind of uptoght about letting her put books in her mouth tear them, etc. but being uptight about that and saying NO or taking them away from her was teaching her that books we not fun. So I had to let go and if a book got ruined oh well I could always get a new one having her love reading is much more special to me than any book. Now that she is 2 she loves to read and I plan on implementing this same thing with my other daughter due in March!

    • MichelleH December 2, 2010 at 8:39 am #

      Colleen,
      What a great lesson you have shared. Thank you so much. And another daughter in March? That’s wonderful news. Congrats!

  2. Jennelle S December 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    These are all great suggestions. We always have a bunch of kids books lying around for the kids to pick up whenever they want, just like their toys. My niece is barely two and already can’t keep her hands off of them.

    • MichelleH December 3, 2010 at 8:49 am #

      Great job Jennelle for getting the children hooked on books!

  3. Peggy Nunn December 3, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    I agree with this so much. I read and sang to my children before they were born. As they grew up, they loved someone to read or sing for them. Now they are doing the same thing for their children. The children love books, they are associated with someone caring and spending time with them. It is not a “school chore” to pick up a book. Everyone keep on reading to any child, it will benefit them later too.

  4. tess December 3, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    I beleive in reading to babies while they are weeks old- my son just turned 2 years old- he can practially read every book in the house that i have read to him- sort of speaking he knows what the page is going to talk about and etc…he knows all the animals, colors, shapes and he can count to 60 already. People read to your babies. My son loves books.

    • MichelleH December 3, 2010 at 8:47 am #

      Tess that is wonderful! We applaud you!

  5. Rebecca December 3, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    We try reading to our daughters every day. During the summer we join the library reading program where she earns books for every 20 books we read her. Very cool

    • MichelleH December 3, 2010 at 11:00 am #

      That is coll Rebecca! Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  6. Alex Fisher December 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Such great tips! Especially for the under 1 years old. I never thought to clap a rythm while I read! Maybe that’ll help us ! :)

  7. Jana December 5, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    I HIGHLY recommend reading with your child starting when your pregnant and don’t stop! Reading has always been a special time with our daughter. We also had lots of books around she could look at from an early age (6 months) It’s been fun to watch our reading time evolve as our daughter develops new skills.

    • MichelleH December 6, 2010 at 9:55 am #

      That is great Jana. Love your suggestion to read during pregnancy!

  8. Chelsei Ryan December 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    My daughter already loves reading but these tips will surely help her enjoy it even more…thanks.

    • MichelleH December 6, 2010 at 9:54 am #

      You are so welcome Chelsei!

  9. Samantha December 6, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    My twins love books, and they love to especially see pictures of other babies and animals. They are a little rough with boys, but I am glad they like them.

    • MichelleH December 6, 2010 at 9:53 am #

      That’s great Samantha! They are off to a good future with a foundation in reading!

  10. Amanda December 6, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    I have a 5 and a 22 month old. We read so much that my sons teacher had asked, “do you read a lot, codie knows everybook we read.” My daughter is always bringing us books to read. I hope that this carries on because i feel that sometimes theres nothing better than a book.

  11. Michelle December 6, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    That is incredible Amanda! Good for you for teaching your children to read at an early age. Thanks for sharing with us.

  12. christina j. December 6, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    i LOVE reading and really hope that i can pass that love on to my son. i try to never say no when he asks for a book, which can be hard sometimes, but it is definitely a priority in our house, so i try to drop everything and read a story when he asks.

    • MichelleH December 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

      You definitely have your priorities in the right place Christina!

  13. LaurenS December 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    We make it a ritual. We read every night before bed. Each child picks a book and we all sit together.

    • MichelleH December 7, 2010 at 8:58 am #

      Lauren,
      That’s a great ritual. We are sure you are making precious memories for them!

  14. Tonya December 6, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Love the extra ideas to get my little guy involved. He is really enjoying reading and one of his favorites being play ball Amelia Bedelia!!! Love being able to bond with him in this way.

    • MichelleH December 7, 2010 at 8:55 am #

      Tonya,
      You are right – it is a bonding time. Thanks for reminding us of that added benefit!

  15. Meagan December 7, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    I felt kind of silly reading to a newborn baby, but I kept at it. My little girl is 4 months old now, and she loves it when I put her in my lap to cuddle and read books :) I wanted to get started with a routine of it early, so it could become a habit for us. And I agree with one of the earlier comments here…. Make books seem like a toy! I take care of my 4 year old nephew during the day too, and that is the attitude we’ve helped him to have. He gets just as excited to get new books as presents as he does for new toys. He is so excited to start learning how to read all by himself!

    • MichelleH December 7, 2010 at 8:52 am #

      That is great Meagan! Congrats to you for making a difference so your daughter and nephew like to read!

  16. Mrs. Smitty December 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Our daughter is at the age where classic time-outs are not appropriate yet, but she needs a few minutes to herself to collect her emotions and change focus from her bad behavior. We encourage her to divert her attention by giving her a quiet corner with books and comfy seating, which she utilizes as a ‘quiet time’ instead of a ‘time out’. It’s drastically cut down on her tantrums as well as allowed her space and focus on books!

    • MichelleH December 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

      GREAT idea Mrs. Smitty! Thanks for sharing it!

  17. Jenna Z December 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    These are wonderful suggestions! My husband and I were just talking about the benefits of reading your a child who can’t yet understand the words. But they can certainly be picking up language skills and bonding, even if they aren’t following the story and picking up lessons that way.

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