Did you like reading as a child? When was the first time you started reading to your child?

I am not one of those moms who spent time reading to my children while they were inside my belly. And I am not one of those moms who started reading books to the children as soon as they were born. I talked and talk to them, I make up stories for them, I sing for them and I dance with them.

However, reading is a big part of my children’s life and our family’s in general.

With our first daughter I remember introducing her first book to her at the age of 6 months. It was a simple book with a poem and pictures. She chewed its corners before I could read out the name of the book! The book must have been so tasty because whenever she saw it later (till she was roughly 2), she would grab it and start chewing on it!

My husband and I (especially my husband) start reading to our children from the time they are a few months old and their vision is more clear to recognize objects, colors and shapes. We choose books with less words and more pictures. But we also make sure the pictures are not too overwhelming. Simple pictures catch the baby’s interest and let the baby explore the object/character better.

Once they can move around, we give them access to “baby” books – books that have thick pages or made out of soft material, so they can’t get paper cuts or tear them easily.

When they get even older, we give them more access to books. In our case, it is always fun to shop for books!

We always encourage interactive programs and books on the alphabet and phonics. Our favorite are the Leap Frog series and Starfall website.

The more you expose them to reading, the more interest they show and try to recognize letters and words.

Quite often our older daughter will grab a book she is familiar with and retell the whole story. She also points out the words she already can read and seeks them out in other books and whenever we go out!


What I learned so far about making reading a fun activity is the following:

1. Let the child explore the book.

2. Teach the child to care for books. It is better to start introducing hard cover books or books made out of soft material so the children, whose natural instinct is to tear, learn to rather flip through them than damage them.

3. Start with picture books or simple picture books with 1-3 words per page.

4. Rotate the books.

5. Take time to read for the child and with the child. Animate what you read with gestures and sounds. Children learn how to express themselves through that and it helps them to enhance their creativity and imagination!

6. Reading before bed is one of the best activities for us: it is calming, soothing, peaceful and gives you a chance to spend quality time with the child. It is also a great part of the overall bed time routine.


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