It’s Book Week here in Austalia and while I am busy preparing Immy’s costume for her kindy book character parade I have invited a group of wonderful Australian early childhood bloggers to share their unique insights into reading with children. Today I would like to introduce Suz of Lovely Little Bookworms.
It’s really important for kids to grow up around books and for books to be part of their daily lives, but how do you do this and still make reading fun? Often babies and toddlers will find it difficult to sit still for an official “story time” and reading should be an active experience, so here are my top tips for incorporating books and reading into the daily lives and routines of little ones.
Make books accessible
Don’t store your children’s books out of their reach or behind closed doors! Kids need to be able to access books whenever they want if they are to naturally integrate them into their play and regular activities. Books should be displayed at kid’s eye level, be available in the room kids spend the most time in, and be easy for kids to get to. There are numerous clever ideas for storing books but a simple box of books works fine as well.
Choose books that are engaging
There are so many amazing children’s books to choose from. If you’re not interested in the book you are reading to your child then they are going to be able to tell pretty quickly. Read a variety of engaging, interesting books on a variety of topics. Choose books with text and illustrations that are appealing to your child. Go to the library and try before you buy!
Get the most out of books
There is so much more to sharing books with kids than just reading. Include books into other parts of your children’s play – do a craft activity based on a book, get out some toys or dress ups and act out one of the stories you’ve been reading, make a playdough book scene. Capitalise on experiences your children have had: If you’ve just been to the zoo read about different animals. Planning a beach holiday? Get some books with a beach theme. Having a new baby? Use books to talk about this with your child.
And finally – just remember:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss
What is your #1 piece of advice for encouraging little ones to engage with books and stories?
Suz is a primary school teacher, mum to 2-and-a-half-year-old twins, and blogs at Lovely Little Bookworms, a blog dedicated to encouraging kids to read and parents to read with their kids.