I love books.
As a child, I read all day every day. Yes, even while walking home from school. I do not recommend reading while walking. It’s not safe. But there you go – that is how much I love books!
However, it can be hard to read as a parent. Babies love to tear books out of your hands. And babies love to tear pages out of books. But I feel guilty if I am using my phone to read (they are seeing me having screen time!). So here I am, with a strong desire to share my love of reading. And it seems there is no good way to model this love for my kids!
I am still working on solutions for how to model reading to my kids. (While they are eating seems to be the best solution so far. Let me know in the comments if you have other ideas on achieving reading with babies around. I will be glad to try it!).
Books, Books, Everywhere
One way I have helped my children grow in love of books is by having them around, everywhere. We have picture books in our bedroom and their bedroom. There are also picture books in our lounge/office, and in the living room. There are even picture books in the bathroom since we have potty trained Little Fox! Every room in the house where the girls spend time includes at least a couple books for them to sit and look at.
You might think that just having books isn’t enough. Keep the books at the children’s eye level. And they will be found!
I often come back from a bathroom trip to see Little Fox and Little Badger sitting on the floor with a pile of books, both of them engrossed in the pictures. Little Fox even remembers the words to some of the stories, and “reads” aloud what is happening.
One other thing that helps my children grow in love for books is reading the same story often. There are a couple reasons this is a good idea. First of all, reading a story repeatedly helps with vocabulary growth. Second, it allows the child to start memorizing the story. Perhaps not all the words, but at least the flow of the story (This happens, and then this happens, and then this happens). Finally, it creates a habit. Routines and order help toddlers make sense of the world. Reading the same story is a great way to build a positive connection surrounding books.
It is hard to read the same story over and over again! I still have a long ways to grow in the virtue of patience. But the rewards are worth it. Little Fox learns new words. And she even loves to look at the book when I don’t have time to read it to her.
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