As a kindergarten teacher, parents often ask me, “What is the one thing that will really help my child?”  My answer always is – ” Read!”  Read with them, to them, and have them read to you! Reading is a lifelong skill that will not only aid them through their education but will also provide them with a sense of adventure, imagination, and the ability to explore and learn about the world around them. Reading allows them to become well-rounded, empathetic, and lifelong learners.

The trick to this is trying different things with reading to captivate your child’s interest and the things you can do are endless. Some children truly just enjoy curling up and reading one on one with a parent or sibling. Go with it, but change it up for a greater appreciation!

The following ways are super fun, easy, and sure (at least one of them!) to get even the most uninterested child/children to learn to love to read:

  • Read a variety of media: Why not find a fun recipe and have your child help read the ingredients, find them, and then help measure (math bonus!!!).
  • Planning a trip? Find magazines, books, pamphlets on places you are visiting or even plan a future “dream” trip, have them read or read about all the sights and places you would like to visit. Books on “tape”–are you constantly in the car?
  • There are many movies based on books…read them as a family then watch the movie and compare!  Most kids will find that the book was “way better”!
  • Read a book nightly (if possible) as a family, this one is a family favorite.  It also helps for characters to have their own voice…you want it to be fun, you have to make it that way.  This is also a great way to introduce chapter books- I have found the suspense of a new chapter has them asking to read every night.
  • Finally, make it a book-themed day!  Why not choose a book and base your meals, and activity, even art project from it!  The possibilities are endless!

In short, the gift of reading will stay with your child forever.  Love them, collect them, let your children have access to them at any time. Visit the library often.  Give books as gifts and incentives.  The love of reading is the BEST gift you can give them.

-Gilda Hansen (Bravo Employee)