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A Lifelong Love of Reading

The simple act of reading to your child, even an infant, helps to build their early literacy skills. Those skills will support them when they are old enough to start learning how to read on their own. But, wait! The goodness doesn’t stop there.

There’s another important thing happening when you read to your child: you are guiding their first steps to a lifelong love of reading. If you yourself like to read, there’s a good chance you were read to as a child. Here are some other ways to foster this literacy love in the next generation…

  1. Let your child see you reading. Children like to emulate adults. They want to do what they see you doing, including everything from grocery shopping to reading.
  2. Make reading a positive experience. If your little one gets bored during a story, it’s okay to set it aside. If they want to hear the same book over and over, great! This is normal and good for them. They are also more likely to want to read those familiar books on their own when the time comes.
  3. Make books available. One way to do this is by having a bookshelf in your home with children’s books on a low shelf. If you don’t have the space, or can’t purchase books, no problem! Visiting your library puts thousands of books within reach. Kids will be excited to read titles they picked out themselves. You don’t need to invest a penny, and you can choose to read in the library or take the books home.
  4. Get your child involved in the book when you read to them. Their interest will increase if they participate through repeating phrases, answering questions or even acting out the story. You can get into it, too, by doing different voices and playing along.

Here are a few books that are great for audience participation…

It's a Tiger

It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle

Who Took the Cookies?
Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass

Pete the Cat
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

Megan is a Children’s Library Assistant at CLP – East Liberty. When she isn’t reading fantasy, magical realism and/or pretty much any children’s book, she enjoys gaming, watching movies and writing fiction, some of which has been published.

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