There’s a lot of buzz about the importance of daily reading starting in early childhood, and we couldn’t agree more. Reading for at least 20 minutes a day has countless benefits for skill development. Whether your child is just starting preschool or on their way to elementary school, it’s never too late to create a reading ritual at home.
Here are 8 ways to breathe new life into your child’s reading routine and inspire healthy reading habits in the process.
- Create a reading nook
Do you have a favorite place to read? Maybe your child likes to read in bed under the covers or outside in the backyard. Switch things up and try something new, like building a play fort, setting up a hammock, or creating a cozy corner filled with pillows and their beloved stuffed animals. For endless inspiration, try checking out the hashtag #readingnook on Instagram.
- Switch up reading times
A lot can be said for reading habits, but don’t feel as though you have to stick to the same reading time every day. See if you can squeeze in a story when your child wakes up in the morning, before nap time, or after school. If you’re feeling pinched for time, try having them read to you while you prepare a meal, or putting on an eBook to listen to together.
- Talk about books together
Talking about books at home can be just as important as actually reading them! Think about ways to bring up a subject or character from an I Can Read! book while the whole family is together. This way, reading is incorporated into daily conversations that go beyond your designated reading routine.
- Go on a book-themed outing
Think outside the book and plan a day trip or weekend activity based on a story your little one loves. For example, read Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia and take a trip to a local baseball game, or, read a book about Baby Shark and plan a beach day or waterpark adventure. (No matter what you plan, you can take the credit!)
- Get cooking!
Many popular children’s books and some of our favorite I Can Read! books involve delicious food. For example, Fancy Nancy loves throwing tea parties and Pete the Cat loves taking trips to the supermarket. To switch things up in your early reader’s world, try baking cookies, making finger sandwiches, or going grocery shopping together. You could even find a story that features a character in another country and research local foods to try at home.
- Create a kids book club
Choosing kids activities can be daunting with options that are seemingly endless. Why not try an activity related to reading? Gather a small group of bookish friends and suggest a book, or series, about an I Can Read! character. Kiddos can choose their favorite scene from the book(s) and meet to discuss and play. Hint hint: we introduce kids to new character friends each month!
- Attend a story time event
Local libraries and bookstores can be a great resource to help develop your child’s reading routine. Many of them even have free story hours on a weekly basis! Take a trip with your kiddo and go somewhere in the area that suits you, whether it’s after school or over the weekend.
- Keep a book on hand
Entertaining kids during downtime can be tricky. Pack a book with you to have on hand wherever you go (we make it easy with portable paperbacks)! It’s those unexpected small moments, like waiting at the doctor’s office or for a sibling to finish a swim lesson, that sometime make the best story times.