Reading is one of the most important skills kids can learn. It allows them to develop imagination and intelligence, empowering them with knowledge that enriches their entire lives. A love of reading is one of the finest gifts parents can give their children.
While there are certain mechanics to the process of learning to read, the moment when individual letters morph into meaningful words is pure magic. Suddenly a child holds the key that unlocks a whole world of adventures.
Books can provide a quiet place from which to explore new ideas and feelings. They can also build self-confidence, help foster creativity and imagination, and introduce children to new characters they can relate to. Most of all, delving into a great story is fun for all ages.
The recipe for creating a life-long reader is wonderfully simple. Encourage your child to delve into books with these tips from Charlotte Teeple, executive director of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and head of the TD Grade One Book Giveaway, Canada’s largest free book distribution program for school-aged children.
Read regularly. Make books and reading a part of children’s lives right from the start. Set aside a regular time to read to children every day from infancy, and create independent family reading time to keep it up as they get older.
Lead the way. Make regular visits to the local library or bookstore to help children find the best books available.
Think outside the book. Look for opportunities for kids to read in unexpected places and ways. Listen to audiobooks in the car or while going for a walk, or take the opportunity to read posters while shopping.
Set an example. When children see adults enjoying a good book, they get a very important message – you can never outgrow books.