5 Good Tricks to Raising a Reader

Hello my dear mamas.  Today is our first “back to school” day with my oldest off for 5th grade.  Over the past few days, we’ve been hanging out and preparing ourselves for school and sports teams, and all the rest.  One of the things I’m asking myself as I look back on our wonderful summer is “did my kids read enough?”

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Reading is one of the things I’m always struggling with as a mom.  Are my kids reading enough?  Are they reading the right things for them?  How do I get them interested in a new book or series when they’d rather go back to old, comfortable favorites (i.e. books with bathroom and fart jokes!)… Frequent trips to the library and sprinkling books all over the house has helped me more than begging and pleading.  When we’re in our apartment, most often there’s just not that much to do and sometimes I’ll see my boys picking up a book out of sheer boredom, to my delight!

A mom recently wrote in on YouTube asking “at what age would it be good to start reading to my baby”.  I’ve also been asked “how do I get my child into reading.”  So in this video you’ll find tips and tricks for reading to babies early on, with the goal of establishing habits that stick in years to come.  Special thanks to Melissa Balmain for her helpful article on how to read to babies which clarified for me why certain types of books so attracted my babies and toddlers.

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life. ― Walt DisneyLike it? Pin it!

Tricks on Early Reading

1) Start in the Womb.  My sister Kirsten began reading to her first child while pregnant.  Who can say what actual effect this had, but her daughter (my beloved niece and God daughter) talked and read quite early, and she loves good books.  Although reading to my babies in the womb is NOT something I managed to do, I do think it’s a super idea.  Why?  Because it is up to us, the parents, to hopefully slide into a pattern of reading to our kids.  So why not get the ball rolling when diapers, burps and baby laundry aren’t around as distractions?

2) Birth-Six Months.  Choose books with little or no text and high contrast pictures.  Interactive books with mirrors, peepholes and tactile things to touch were big favorites for my babies at this age.  Some say just the sound of mama’s or papa’s voice is a huge plus at this age.  Here are some good pics that remain on our bookshelves:

3) Seven-Twelve Months.  Books with few or even just ONE object per page are good bets.  Board books, cloth books, and bath books are great options.  At this age, experts say that babies might begin to recognize sounds and associate them with images.  Here are some of our favorites:

4) 13-18 Months.  At this point, experts recommend books with a bit more text per page.  While reading out loud, we parents should be doing silly things like acting out animal sounds (nice chance to live out some of your acting fantasies, right?).  Also, at this stage experts recommend that we start to ask our babies questions about books, encouraging them to articulate words.  Some of our family favorites for this age range are these:

5) 19-24 Months.  By this stage, many toddlers will opt for books they like and know.  Hearing the same books read in the same way can provide the consistency required for baby language development.  Here are some books my kids adored at this stage.  Some were pretty complicated, and we are still reading them years later, so they’ve stood the test of time and were worth investing in:

I hope this tips and tricks are helpful to you guys!  What books did your babies most adore?  Please share below, and thanks so much for following CloudMom!

Wishing you happy times with books and a peaceful home over the tumultuous weeks of back to school!

xo M