(WTNH) — Parenting Coach Chrissy Khachane shares tips with parents on how to get their children excited about reading at home.
1) Create a book nook. Toddlers and preschoolers love to hide in small corners and create magical worlds. Promote reading habits by placing a few small books shelves in the corner of the playroom (or simply use rubbermaid containers as bins) and add a couple of floor pillows or beanbag chairs to make the space cozy and inviting. Make sure to crawl into this space with your child and take some magical story adventures together.
2) Make small collections by theme. Children are learning about the world through each and every experience. One way to help young children learn how to categorize and group items/topics is through modeling. Take a small portion of your books and use bins or cardboard boxes to group books with a similar theme. Some ideas include a bin for books about animals, numbers, colors, or sports. At times it can be overwhelming for a child to select a book from the bookshelf. Providing the option to use a bookshelf and/or a bin allows for some structure in making a book selection.
3) Start a literacy exchange. This is a great way for parents to connect with older children or a wonderful way to support early readers and writers. Take a simple spiral bound notebooks (for older children you can take advantage of technology for this activity with a shared google doc) and alternate writing responses about a shared text you are reading. With younger children they can simply draw a picture and include labels on the page. Writing goals for the literacy exchange can be as frequent as what works best for your family. Some families may find they are able to write every day or two, while others might alternate writing once a week.
4) Play reading games. Make reading more than just about getting to the last page of the book. Have fun by creating an alternate ending to a story, create a new character for the story, or act out your favorite part of the story.