Time to Play: Raising Bookworms
By Tara Rison, Founder, Raising Itty-Bitty Bookworms and The Itty-Bitty Bookworm
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It is widely agreed upon that one of the most important factors that contributes to a child’s success in reading are his or her early experiences with literacy. Since a child’s first teachers are parents, it is important for parents to offer their children many positive experiences with books and reading.
The following are some tried and true ways to help you succeed in raising your child to become a bookworm:
Keep a variety of books in baskets or bins where children can easily reach them. I have a large basket in my living room full of books. I try to include a variety: fiction, non-fiction, seasonal stories and books about the interests of my children. My children also have book baskets in their rooms. In these baskets they keep their library books from school, magazines and any other books that they are currently reading.
When you read to your child, talk about your favorite parts of the book and ask your child to describe his or her favorite parts as well. Book discussions show your child that you think books are important. It also gives your child practice with recalling details from a story.
Attend your local public library’s story hour. Most libraries have story hours for toddlers and preschoolers. They usually include several read-alouds, songs, finger plays and a reading-related activity.
Get a library card for your preschooler. Every preschooler enjoys having their own library card. It makes them excited to check out books so that they can use their very own card.
Buy or check out books that are of interest to your child. Children become much more involved in books if the books are related to a subject of their interest. Children’s interests can change frequently so try to keep the book selections current.
Engage your child in activities/crafts related to your child’s favorite books. If your child loves the book If You Give a Moose a Muffin, make muffins together. If he prefers The Very Hungry Caterpillar, make a caterpillar out of green craft pom poms and googly eyes.
Be a good role model. Read for fun in front of your children. Read a variety of materials: newspapers, cookbooks, novels, “how-to” books, the Bible, etc.