As a child I looked forward to Saturday visits with my mom and sister to our local library. The children’s section was bright with vibrant colors and the chairs and tables were just the right size for elementary school aged kids like me. Running to the fish tank to see the array of fish was a must upon entering the seemingly magical place. It is where I was introduced to a long list of unforgettable children’s literature.
Visiting the library and seeing children’s books that I grew up reading still on shelves, and as top picks, is amazing. Many of the books were written well before I was born, yet they are capturing young readers to this day.
Here are some of my childhood favorites that I have shared with my children:
Books Best For Infants & Toddlers
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
Bear Books by Frank Asch
Books Best For Pre-K & Up
The Berenstain Bears Collection by Stan, Jan and Mike Berenstain
If You Give A Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
The Little Critter Collection by Mercer Mayer
How to Get Kids Excited About Reading
1. Start Early
Research has shown that when a parent reads to their infant not only are they nurturing the relationship between parent-child, but they are also aiding their child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development. I found reading during my pregnancies to be a way to help both the baby and I relax at the end of the day. Doing this also created a reading routine that continued after the baby’s birth. The Parents as Teachers organization says, “By cooing, singing lullabies, or reading aloud to a baby, toddler, or preschooler, parents stimulate their children’s developing minds and help build a base for literacy skills.”
I recently saw a video of my, then two year old, daughter attempting to read a book to my husband. In the video she paused at each page, analyzed it and proceeded to create her own story based on the book’s illustrations. She had grasped the concept of storytelling. Reading fictional literature allows parents to expose our children to a world of creativity, exploration and imagination, which is beneficial to learning and development.
2. Read at Home
Reading to our children and listening to them read has been a great way for our family to disconnect from the world and technology and bond with one another. When our daughters were two and under, we designated a time right before bedtime for reading. Reading time in our home now occurs multiple times a day. Although I often encourage our children to pick up a book, it is not rare to find them in a corner voluntarily diving into a stack of books we picked up at the library.
3. Take a Trip to the Library
Visiting our local libraries have been included in our biweekly, sometimes weekly, agenda since before the girls could walk. Most libraries have activities and programs for the entire family like story time, craft days based on books and special guests and organizations who share their talents and knowledge. There are over 119,487 libraries in the U.S. so families have an abundance of opportunities to take advantage of these free and beneficial experiences.
Other Ways to Get Kids Excited About Reading- Make reading a habit by reading multiple times a day.
- Read to your child and also encourage independent reading.
- Build a personal library so books are always accessible.
- Find books on topics your child enjoys.
- Find activities and games that correlate with the books you are reading.
- Create a reading area in your child’s bedroom.
- Keep a few books in the car for reading on the go.
About the All-Star Blogger
Teri Watters is the creator of MommyWifeLife.com, where she regularly blogs about ways to keep the family connected through education, activities and new products.