How to Encourage a Lifelong Love of Words

You love reading and want to share this joy with your child. Maybe, though, you were a reluctant reader and want your child to have a different relationship with books than you did. Whatever kind of relationship you have with reading, if you want your child to identify as a reader early on, you can start fostering that connection today.

Storytime

Storytime can take place in many ways. It is a time to allow children to imagine impossible events and to jump up excitedly when a favorite character does something impressive. You don’t need a large budget to make storytime a part of your routine with your child. Go to your local library together and pick out some books to read or look for advertisements for free community reading events. Community story hours can both entertain and provide a foundation for many children’s introduction to vocabulary

Pretend

When you’re reading together, ask your child questions about the characters and settings. Allow your child to pretend to be one of the characters. Maybe even act out a scene together. If you come across an unfamiliar word, talk about it. Make it into a game rather than a quiz. Talk about other ways to use the word and point it out when you come across it again.

Write

By using words, children will understand them more quickly. One day, your child might not like how a story ends. Instead of insisting that the story ends that way, invite your child to write a different ending. Also, if your child has enjoyed reading a lot of related books, such as fantasy chapter books featuring dragons, you can encourage your child to write a new story about dragons.

Invite playfulness and imagination. Reading doesn’t need to have a solely academic focus. It can inspire and entertain, too.

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