How do you help your kids love reading? Here are three habits we practice regularly in our home to prioritize reading and inspire a love of books in our kids.
I’ve always loved books and reading. I remember leaning close to my mom and silently following along as she read favorite books to my siblings and me like Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables while the little ones napped.
My dad would occasionally read to us after dinner as well and I have happy memories of listening to him read the classic allegories Pilgrim’s Progress and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Reading became one of my favorite past times as a kid and books were a favorite gift for my birthday and Christmas. I practically memorized some of my favorites from reading them over and over.
Louisa May Alcott was a favorite author – I sobbed when Beth died in Little Women and couldn’t believe it when Jo refused Laurie. (Come on Jo!)
Today mine and Pablo’s book collection is ever growing and nothing would make us happier than for our kids to love reading too.
Today I wanted to share three habits that we’ve developed in our home that we hope will inspire a love for books and a love for reading in our kids.
3 Important Habits We Follow to Help Our Kids Love Reading Books
1. Read aloud daily to your kids
Reading aloud to the kids happens at various times throughout the day at our home.
Most mornings at the end of breakfast Pablo will read to the kids from one of their Bible story books.
Once Pablo is off to work and the baby is down for his morning nap we usually gather for our morning “circle time”. Right now I’ve been using that time to read a short Bible lesson to the kids and read from Caleb’s 2nd grade science book.
At lunch (or after naps, depending) I will read a fun chapter book with the kids. We’ve enjoyed the Little House books, lots of Beverly Cleary’s books, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Charlotte’s Web, A Little Princess, a variety of kid-appropriate biographies, and more. We’re currently working our way through some of the Betsy-Tacy series which is bringing back happy memories from my own childhood.
Note: Read Aloud Revival is a good resource for lists of age appropriate books. Of course, use your discernment to choose what’s appropriate for your child.
2. Plan regular individual reading times
This is a new habit that we’ve started up this year to help our kids love reading. On evenings when we don’t have anything going on we’ll gather in the living room after the baby is down for bed for some quiet reading time. The kids all choose a book (or a stack of books), Pablo and I each grab a book that we’re currently reading, and we set the timer and read quietly for 15 minutes.
Now, keep in mind that our oldest is only seven, so keeping everyone quiet for 15 minutes is a work in progress, especially for the three year old who always wants to share his book with everyone. But over all it goes pretty well and we feel like it’s definitely a habit that’s worth developing.
3. Make regular visits to the library with your kids
Ahh the library. We all know about it and likely most of us have library cards, but when life gets busy it can be easy to forget to go. But if you want to inspire your kids with a love for books and reading you definitely should make library visits a regular thing.
There’s nothing like a stack of fresh “new” books to get kids excited about reading. If you take them and let them pick out their own books it’s even better.
If you don’t want your kids just choosing any book they find give some some perimeters but find a way for them to still be able to choose. They’re more likely to want to read something that they’ve chosen themselves.
While there are a lot more things that could be said on the topic of teaching your kids to love reading, these three habits are the biggest things that we’re doing right now.
Now I’d love to hear from you! Are you a big reader? What are some things you do to help your kids love books and reading? Let me know in the comments!