Simple Secret to Raising Kids Who Love to Read
Jul 05, 2018

There's a quote by Emilie Buchwald that we absolutely adore: 

"Kids are made readers in the laps of their parents."

This is so simple and yet so true. The first (and probably most important) step to raising kids who love to read is to read aloud to them. 

That's the big "secret" folks. 

However, there is more to reading aloud than just saying words from a page out loud. Here are a few tips on how to make storytime your children's favorite part of the day. 

Choose Books You Enjoy

I know this may seem counterintuitive. After all, shouldn't you pick books that your child will enjoy? While that is definitely true, you should also choose books that YOU can get into. Otherwise, your boredom may seep through into your recitation. And then it will be all downhill from there. This is especially important if your kids are already antsy and would rather be playing. In your kids' mind, "if mommy doesn't like this book, why should I?" Think back to when you were their age and pick books that you loved to read back then. 

Create a Reading Environment

Make your reading space comfortable and distraction-free. If possible, go to a room that is free of television sets and toys. You want your kids to be focused only on you and the story you will be exploring together. 

Read the Book Alone First

If at all possible, read (or at least skim) the book first. Not only will this help you to gauge whether it's interesting and age-appropriate, it can also help prepare you for reading it aloud. Previewing a book before reading it to your child can alert you to parts where you can pause for dramatic effect and even add in the perfect sound effects. Which brings us to the next tip...

Be Expressive

Do you remember Ben Stein? Whether you know him as Matthew Broderick's super monotonous teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off or the equally monotonous spokesperson for the brand, Clear Eyes, I think there's one thing we can agree on - we shouldn't read books the way he would. Be expressive! Create voices for each of the characters (that's where reading ahead will come in handy). Pause in the right places to get them excited for what's next. Use sound effects. If you can get some props together, that's even better! Kids love to watch TV because there's action, excitement, and humor. Bring some of that to storytime and they will be glued to their seats in anticipation. 

Get Them Involved

Storytime doesn't have to be one-sided. It can be interactive! Let your kids turn the pages for you. Ask them to help you with the sound effects. If you're reading a familiar story or one that repeats sayings (such as "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in") prompt them to join in on their favorite parts. You can even pause at a cliffhanger while reading a new story and ask your kids what they think will happen next. 

These are a few tips on how you can make storytime fun for kids. The more you do this for them, the more likely it is that they will love to read- whether you're reading to them or they're reading on their own. If you have any other tips on how to raise kids who love to read, we'd love to hear about them in the comments below! If you have any topics, that you want to see us address on the blog, feel free to contact us at any time. 

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