One of the most important things you can do for your child is to instill a love of books at a very young age. Reading to your child often is the best way to foster this affinity for books and reading. It’s important to remember, though, to make reading fun for your child.
One way to make reading time feel special is to designate a certain time of day for reading. Children love routines, and they will enjoy knowing that they can expect to read at that set-aside time. This is not to say that you can’t read at other times during the day, too, but just try to be consistent about making time for your routine. Your child will undoubtedly remind you if you forget. 🙂
Even during your special reading time, your child may not always be thrilled about staying still for too long. Young children have very short attention spans and are often unable to sit through a whole story. That’s okay! Don’t force your child to finish it with you. You can always come back to the book another time, and forcing her to finish it will likely attach a negative feeling to reading. If you’re reading to a toddler who likes to move around a lot, just continue to read while she’s doing other things near you. You’d be surprised how much she’s paying attention to the story even when it seems like she’s not.
Finally, show your child how much fun reading can be by reading your own books. Your little one is always watching you to see what you’re doing, and she loves mimicking your actions. Show her that you love to read, and it really will affect her desire to read, too.
So remember: read often but don’t force it. It really will do wonders for your little learners!