There can never be enough emphasis put on the importance of reading. The benefits are endless, and there really is a genre for every taste. For adults, reading helps relieve stress, helps mental stimulation, grows your knowledge and expands your analytical thinking skills. Kids also enjoy all these benefits, as well as having their imagination grow and their vocabulary built up. Not only are there all these great things that come from reading, but books can also just be so much fun!
In order to get your children loving books and reading, you need to start reading to them from a young age. Even babies benefit from being read to. The trick however is finding the time to read to your kids. Parenting is a full time job, not to mention your actual job and all your other responsibilities. Time slips by before we realize we haven’t had that quality reading time with our children.
The only way this will change is if you actively work towards setting a daily reading aloud time. It isn’t going to happen on its own. Not only will the reading time open up your little ones eyes to the world of literature, fairy tales and knowledge, it is a great way for you to bond as a family.
Here are some creative ways to find the time to read aloud each day:
Stock your home with books – By no means do you have to fork out hundreds of dollars to start up a book collection. There are some really affordable and awesome ways to get books nowadays, without having to bankrupt yourself:
- Charity shops – you can find nearly anything at charity shops. Find one near to you and have a look at their books on sale. Many people donate their books to charity stores, and you will be able to pick them up at a fraction of the cost, all while donating to a good cause.
- Library – libraries are the best resource for any book lover. They have every genre and cater to all ages. You will be able to find all the best books to read for both you and the kids. Also, it is free (just return the books on time). Renting the books also help teach your children responsibility for things that aren’t theirs.
- Book baby showers – If you are expecting a baby, ask people to buy a book instead of a card. Get them to write a little note in the front of the book and it can be treasured by your family for ages.
Short reading times are okay – As fascinating as a book might be, kids have short attention spans. You don’t have to pressure yourself to read a whole book in one sitting. Rather read a few pages, and once you see your little one become distracted or tired, put the book down. This frees up your time a bit and you know that what you are reading isn’t going in one ear and out the next – make the time count.
Books don’t have to be read at bed time –Many parents limit themselves by thinking that books should only be read at bed time. They most certainly do not! There are other glorious times during the day to read books. If you are lucky, you could probably tie in reading to some other chore that needs to be done. Why not read during bath time? Your kids will love the change and you are fitting some good reading in without having to make up extra time.
Not all books belong on shelves – Kids need to be excited about books. They are bright and colourful for a reason. Having them stacked away neatly on the shelf isn’t very exciting. Rather lay them out in a way that will get your little one jumping at every opportunity to read. The more they bug you to read, the more time you will make to read with them.
Have a book-reward chart – This works for kids who might not be too excited about reading yet. Set up a little rewards chart. If the both of you manage to fit in some reading time each night, treat yourselves to a new book at the end of the week.
Reading aloud to kids is as fun as it is beneficial. Both yourself and your children will dive deep into fantasy worlds and learn the best lessons from the most enchanting fairy tales, just with a few moments of reading each and every day.