As a child I loved reading. My sister and I would go to the library every week and take out the maximum allowance of books and read as many as we could. One of the extra benefits of having a twin was that we could get twice as many as we swapped and read each others after we had finished our own! We also always had a large collection of our own books at home on the shelves. So when I had children, naturally one of the things I wanted to make sure I instilled in them is a love of reading.
With a 5, 4 and 2 year old, we’re still early on in our journey and this is always a work in progress. My eldest, at 5, is progressing well with his reading, and the younger two still never too young to enjoy a book – either exploring it by themselves just looking at the pictures and words, or sharing a book with an adult.
This is Mr Z at around 3 months old. I did get overexcited and prepared him a shelf of books in his baby nursery before he was even born! We still have most of these books and they have been enjoyed by all three of the boys throughout the years, and of course we have added lots more to our collection since then.
I’ve listed many of our favourites in a book recommendations for toddlers post. I also got him Arabic books before he was born – never too early to start! We still have a couple of those, but you can see a post of Arabic books for kids which we got more recently from Kuwait.
We always have books available in the house and make time for a story each evening, which I hope will help them to stay enthusiastic about books and reading as they grow up. I want reading to be something fun, and not to be seen as a chore. I always felt that developing a love of reading is a gift, as with it you need never be bored and it opens up so many exciting and magical worlds to explore.
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island” – Walt Disney
The time when children first learn to read is so lovely, I’ve really enjoyed seeing Z gain confidence in his reading over the past year.
“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!” — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith 1943 [Click to tweet]
“To learn to read is to light a fire” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
In our eagerness to help our children learn, it can be easy to push them too hard or end up turning learning into a negative experience. I have had to check myself for this at times, and I found this post on what not to say to emergent readers from TeacherMama.com really positive and a useful reminder for me.
I always try to facilitate opportunities for the children to learn in a fun and less pressured way. My post on literacy activities for children gives some suggestions. Also have a look at Damson Lane blog which is currently my favourite book related blog, with lots of brilliant activities to link in with their book of the week each week.
Check my Children’s Books Pinterest board for more ideas and book reviews.
A final message from Baby Z…
Image source: (pin picture) Shutterstock (modified)