Friday, June 1, 2012

Ten Tips to Encourage Your Children to Read {Guest Post by Sarah of Life as Wife, Mummy, and Nurse!}

One of my fondest memories growing up is my mother reading to me.  We would often escape into many different places, such as Narnia, a secret garden, the county fair, etc.  My mom would act out all the different characters in different voices.  I too try to read to my daughter just as my parents read to me.  There are many benefits about reading to your children, even when they are infants.  A few of these benefits are increased vocabulary, recognizing different sounds, trying to put together words, and excelling at school.

Here are my top 10 tips to encourage your children to read:
  1. Read yourself.  Turn off the television and computer and read.  If your children don't see you reading, they are less likely to read themselves.
  2. If your toddler brings you a book, stop what you are doing and read to him. Often my daughter just wants me to open the book and read from one to two pages, then she'll go back to playing with her dolls.
  3. Use inflection when reading.  Don't talk in a monotone voice, get into it, and move around if need be.
  4. Go to the library and take your children to story time.  
  5. Point at the pictures in books and talk about them.  Try to engage your children in the story.
  6. Keep books at their level so they have ready access to them.  My daughter's books are on the first shelf on one of our bookshelves.  This allows her to pull off books and bring them to me when she wants me to read to her.
  7. Don't force your children to sit still.  Sometimes my daughter is very content to have me read to her while she's walking or standing beside me.
  8. Allow your children to turn pages.  Yes, it might mess up the order, but they are showing their independence. 
  9. Read books that your toddler wants you to read, even if it is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for the 100th time that day, read it.
  10. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy reading to your children.
What are your tips for reading to children?

Sarah is the writer behind the blog Life as Wife, Mummy, and Nurse! Go check out her awesome blog! 

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