Creating a Book-lover in Your Young Child
By Sharon Munroe
Many of us were fortunate to have had an early start with books. My mother is a former first grade teacher and read to us from a very early age. That habit of reading daily before bedtime sticks with me today (some 40 years later) not only for myself but for my own children.
When our first son was born, my husband (also a book lover and English major in college) and I decided that a bedtime reading ritual was important. We started early wit him and in his second year of life our son began to think of books as play toys and friends.
Fast forward and at age four, we cannot miss a night without reading him at least one story. He has memorized many titles cover to cover! (Some nights we doze off during the third story he absolutely must hear again!) We also always have books in our cars. Even a five or 10-minute car ride is more enjoyable for kids - they like thumbing through a book and looking at the pictures. Keep some in your backseat for the kids.
Our daughter at age 19 months is having a repeat performance, which makes us proud parents.
Other than carving out time for a reading ritual daily, what else can parents of young children do to create booklovers?
Start a Children’s Book Collection:
- Shop at consignment and thrift stores for the best deals on gently used books - often prices range from $.50-$5.00. (Little Green Beans carries a range of titles and accepts consignments of books that are in good or very good condition year round.)
- When family or friends ask what they can purchase for your children for birthdays and other holidays, a simple answer is “a classic, age-appropriate book that you love.” We have some 30 or 40 books that came to us as gifts for which we are very grateful!
- Start visiting the local library early. Most children can learn the concept of browsing a library and checking out books as early as age 3. Borrow larger, more expensive books that you might not wish to hold onto for years.
Which Books to Start with?
- Our Pinterest page has some of our favorites, including titles by Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss and many others.
- (Honestly there are 1,000+ titles of quality books written in the past 50 years!)
- Watch this page for more titles being added by my friend and children’s librarian Diane this summer.
What are your favorite reading rituals and books that your children have loved? Please comment and certainly suggest titles for us to add to Pinterest. We’ll mention you by name if you like.