My 3-year-old has entered his sensitive period for language. He can’t get enough books. Our 4.5-year-old has always been an avid devourer of books but with our second, I wasn’t sure we would see the same passion. We didn’t for a long time.
Still, we created an environment conducive to his own discovery of reading. We didn’t push anything on him, just have him ample opportunities to lead his own language development.
Encourage Reading at Home with These Ideas
I struggle with this arguably most important point for two reasons: 1) lack of time and 2) devices. I read on my phone or my computer. My husband reads on his Kindle, which my kids get is an ebook but a device is a device. Modeling is huge with kids. This one is on my list to improve. Nothing beats a real book experience (although we do love our Kindles!).
Creating an environment conducive to reading is imperative. We have nooks for reading all over our home. I have baskets to manage book clutter in many corners of our space: the boys room contains a few books that we consistently read at bedtime, a quiet space upstairs where the shelf rotates often, their play space with rotation, the kitchen (they have their own book cabinet), the living room contains a basket of books on rotation and the car.
Listening to books provides an extraordinary and different experience for you and your child. We listen to books while making meals, in the car, while we’re hanging out on a rainy afternoon doing puzzles, and at bedtime with lights out. We use Audible to download devices and borrow loads of CDs from the library.
As long as the boys have exposure to classic, well-written literature, and educational books, I’m okay with giving them reign over the book decisions on our frequent trips to the library. I refuse to deny them a book at the library. My job right now at ages 3 and 4 is to cultivate and inspire a lifelong love of reading. If I control their experience too much, I am certain their interest and desire will wane.
Go out and be with other families to enjoy a trained professional reading, sing, and telling stories. As an adult, I feel inspired. My sons must feel that too. We also gave a few story times at home throughout the day.
Bring a story alive with voices, stuffed animals, figurines, music or a felt board story set. Young child are so concrete. This approach will surely engage even the most reluctant toddler or preschooler.
Check out my other Early Reading posts:
- Reading & Writing Family Time
- 3 Easy & Inexpensive Early Reading Ideas
- 20 Reading & Readiness Ideas
- Word Family Activities for Preschoolers
- Preschool Letter Sound Work
I hope we inspired you!