Sitting down with a good book is a dwindling pleasure in this technological age, especially for children. As caregivers, helping young children develop a love for reading is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Discover four ways to foster a love for books from an early age so the children in your care will know how to sit down and enjoy a good read.
Introduce Interactive Reading Sessions
The first step to fostering a love for books is to make reading a fun and engaging activity. Incorporating interactive elements into your reading sessions will help you accomplish that goal.
Encourage children to pick out their own books, ask questions, make predictions, and share their thoughts about the stories. Interactive elements will keep them engaged, develop their critical thinking skills, and encourage an inquisitive nature.
Establish Consistent Reading Routines
If someone sees you reading, they probably ask how you make time to do so. The answer is that since you value reading, you make time to read. The children in your care need you to help them make time to read. Establishing a consistent reading routine makes time in their schedule and is a predictable part of their day. When children can predict certain activities, they have an enhanced sense of control, comfort, and enjoyment.
You could introduce a bedtime story ritual or a dedicated quiet time during the day for reading. To make it extra special, light a candle while reading to create a cozy atmosphere. If you can find a candle scent that matches what you’re reading, such as one that smells like rosewood and dirt for an adventure book, that’s even better.
Choose Age-Appropriate and Interesting Books
While children should choose their own books, you should offer only books that are suitable for their ages and interests. Picture books, pop-up books, and books with simple words and vibrant illustrations can captivate young children’s attention and stimulate their imaginations.
If the child is indecisive or doesn’t want to pick, choose a short book on a subject you know they enjoy. Keeping their interests in mind when choosing books is important because it will help them remain engaged and excited about reading.
Model a Lifelong Love of Reading
“Monkey see, monkey do” is real, and it applies to you and the children around you. That’s why it’s so important to show your love for reading. When children see their caregivers enjoying a book, they are more likely to develop a positive attitude toward reading.
Share with them what you are reading and why you enjoy it. Incorporate reading and books into your daily life, such as by lighting literary-themed candles or wearing a T-shirt featuring a favorite book character. By demonstrating you value and enjoy reading, you encourage children to feel the same.
Implementing these four ways to foster a love for books from an early age can help us cultivate a lifetime love of reading for the children in our care. If you need some bookish candles to get started, we can help. Our soy candles are safe for little ones and come in various scent profiles that kids will enjoy connecting with their favorite books. The Old Forest is a favorite for kids because the smells of rosewood, fig, dirt, and spices make them feel like they’re in an adventure story.