I love reading, I don’t get enough to time to do it nowadays but I would still put it at the top of my things I love to do list. I love that feeling of getting so lost in a story you can’t wait to get back to the book after you have put it down. I love that it is true escapism and can teach you so much too. I have loved reading since I was very little when my Mum took me to the Library every week. I was that kid that you would find curled up somewhere with her nose in a book. From the age of 14 I started working in a Library and from then on it was my chosen career path. Yes people thought it was boring, we all know the stereotype that comes with Librarians but I didn’t care. I left University as a qualified Librarian and even though I don’t do it as a job anymore I’m still very proud of that title.
I have read with the kids since they were babies in my tummy and they both show a genuine love of reading. Little Man loves to discover new stories, especially for our bedtime read and Little Lady often takes herself off to the bookshelf and babbles away as if she is reading the book she is holding.
In the 17 years I spent working in Libraries I saw first hand how much reading can change a young persons life. However, I am a Mum now too and I know how sometimes you just don’t want to read that same book for the 1387th time that day. But it is so important to read to them as soon as you can in the early days and instil a love of reading.
So here are my 5 top tips on why I think encouraging a love of reading in our kids is so important.
Bonding – Whilst children are still young reading is a great bonding experience between parent and child. Sitting on the sofa reading a story together is precious quality time that I love to have with the kids.
Foundations for Independent Reading – Even when a child is very young reading with them is just as important as when they are learning to read at school. This is so when they begin their own reading journey spending time with a book isn’t alien to them therefore not being a chore or another piece of homework. Since Little Man has started to become an independent reader I have seen how nice it is for him to be able to read one of the books that I used to read to him.
Relaxing at Bedtime – Bedtime stories have become a permanent fixture within our bedtime routine. We read longer stories at this time to Little Man and it really does help to chill him out and make him ready for sleep. He often needs to wind down after playing games on screens so it really great for that too.
Helps with their Language Development – Reading to a toddler can really help with the development of their speech and learning new words. Books with repetition and rhyming are great for this as even when they can’t actually read the words they can join in with bits they have memorised.
Entertainment – To young and old books are good old fashioned forms of entertainment. You can enter into a world for a little while and completely immerse into a story. I think books are a little glimpse of magic.
I could literally write about this for hours but they are my top tips. Read read read as much as you can!!