Want to help instill a love of reading in your children? Here are excerpts from a Kidcast conversation with Elaine Volke with the Allegheny County Library Association on how you can do that, both inside and outside the home.
Kristine Sorensen: Elaine, How do we instill a love of reading in our kids?
Elaine: So it’s really important to do it very early on when you become pregnant. It’s wonderful to read to your child while they’re in the womb. I remember reading the book, “Guess how much I love you”, every night when I was pregnant with my first child. So it can start that early.
And then once they’re born, you want to just make sure that you continue reading with them on a daily basis. At least 20 minutes a day is the recommendation, but if you can do more, that’s great.
Kristine: And do you still read to them once they know how to read on their own?
Elaine: Absolutely. I remember reading aloud to my kids, even when they were in middle school. It was just part of our special evening routine.
Kristine: What else can we do?
Elaine: Build your own library at home. We love when people come to visit us at the library, and even library hop because there are so many great libraries around Allegheny County, but also, build your own home library.
And it’s important to have magazines and newspapers that you as parents are reading because, as we know, children model what they see. So if they see you reading, even if it is just a newspaper or magazine, then they’re going to get in that habit as well.
Kristine: Wonderful. So that’s at home. What about outside the home?
Elaine: Take them to the library. Go to as many Storytimes as you can. And even after they’ve outgrown Storytime, make your library visits a part of your regular routine as well, if you can get there weekly, at least monthly.
And just get to know your public librarians. Take advantage of all the free classes they offer. I think a lot of families don’t realize what resources there are and how many classes, for free, that they can take advantage of.
Find a library and get a free bag with a board book and more resources for parents here.