National Read Across America Day, also known as Dr. Seuss Day was celebrated on March 2nd. This day was created to encourage children to develop a love for reading and to recognize the importance of reading!
However, we know that one of the biggest challenges parents face is getting their kids excited about reading. There is way too much other stuff going on these days for little ones to want to sit down and read right?! Here are some tips to help you inspire a love of reading in your children and make reading a fun and enjoyable activity for the whole family.
How to get your kids excited about reading
It’s never too early to start reading with your Birdies. Even babies benefit from being read to, and studies have shown that reading to infants and toddlers can have a positive impact on their language development. Make reading a part of your daily routine from the very beginning, and your children will grow up associating reading with quality time, love and comfort.
The good thing about children’s books is that they’re all pretty short, so you really only need to set aside 10-15 minutes a day to read together.
Some tips to start reading with your kids right away are:
- Bedtime stories (read this post to find out how reading to your kids is a great way to create a nighttime routine!)
- Read one book before putting on their favorite show
- Turn one of their favorite books into a game you can play together
Make It Fun
Try not to let reading feel like another chore. You already have enough jobs to do as parents, so make sure reading stays fun. There are lots of ways to make reading fun for both you and your Birdies!
For example, you can act out the story with your kids, use different voices for different characters or create your own illustrations and draw pictures for the stories in their favorite books. Another way to make a game out of reading is by asking your child to find certain words or objects in the story.
The more fun you make reading, the more likely your whole family is to enjoy it!
Let Your Kids Choose
Giving your kids the freedom to choose what they want to read can be a good motivator! But we know how overwhelmed kids get when it comes to choices. So we recommend giving them 2-3 books to choose from.
You can also let them choose their own books at the library or bookstore – and encourage them to explore different genres and styles. No matter what your child is interested in, from sports to animals to fantasy, there is sure to be a book out there that will capture their imaginations.
Lead by Example
As parents we’re almost always busy, so sitting down to read for pleasure usually falls to the bottom of the to-do list. But as with everything else, you are your child’s most important role model. It can be really helpful for your Birdies to see reading for pleasure, whether it’s a novel, magazine or anything else.
You can also talk to your kids about what you’re reading and share your enthusiasm for books and reading with them.
Create a Reading Nook
Create a cozy reading nook featuring your favorite Birdie Bean blankets. By creating a special reading space in your home, you’ll help make reading a special and cozy activity – helping your kids associate reading with being safe and cozy! Set aside a corner of your children’s room or a space in the living room, and fill it with pillows, blankets and of course, books! Make it a place where you and your kids can curl up and get lost in a good story.
Don’t forget that a book’s best friend is a cozy Birdie Bean blanket! Shop our new styles out here.
Make Reading a Social Activity
As you’re working to make reading more exciting for your kids, make sure that you encourage them to get social about reading! They can share their favorite books with friends and family, and if you have a library near you, you can take the kids for their read-a-loud time to make friends and socialize entirely because of reading.
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate your Birdies reading achievements. Whether they’ve finished a difficult book or read a certain number of pages, make sure to celebrate their hard work! When we were kids, the biggest reading motivation for us was the celebration after we’d finished a book. Finishing a book was always celebrated, and when we hit major reading milestones we’d be able to pick out a prize or go to a favorite restaurant.
Having a reward system or even a reading chart with stickers they get to use can be one of the best ways to motivate your kids to read more – and truly enjoy reading!
Helping your kids get excited about reading is all about making it fun, engaging and enjoyable. You can set a positive example and create a special reading place in your home. You can also let your kids choose what they want to read, and inspire a lifelong love of reading in your Birdies.
Together we can make National Read Across America Day a daily celebration! Take some time to curl up with your favorite cozy Birdie Bean and a good book, and share the joy of reading with your family.
What are your favorite books to read together? We’d love to know. Come hangout with us on Instagram (@birdiebeanbaby) where you can chat with us daily about reading and what your family's favorite books are.