Tips for encouraging kids to read include surrounding your child with books, magazines and other materials to choose from. We do this in our home. Books are on shelves and in bins in almost every room of the house, and they're an important part of our daily routine. We buy books, subscribe to magazines and borrow books from the library, and our kids (2.5-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son) are always given a choice of what they'd like to read. Libraries are amazing places for kids to select materials of interest. There's so much to choose from, the staff and displays offer guidance and everything's FREE! Following the library's lead and after exploring some gorgeous photos on Pinterest (check out this amazing book wall in a nursery designed by Elizabeth Sullivan), I'm considering installing display-style shelving in my daughter's room. Maybe something that's less about showcasing the books and more about allowing easy access to her favourites while encouraging her to pick up something new.
Children mimic the most seamingly insignificant things we do, from the way we speak to the way we hold our toothbrush, so carving out time in our own busy schedules to make reading a priority can have a strong impact, too. When our children see us reading, we're encoraging them to do the same through our very actions, which speak far louder than words.
Every once in a while the books in our home begin to take over and it's time to get organized. I am a librarian after all. Last weekend I packed up most of my daughters board books for friends who are expecting a baby and made room for a bunch of new-to-her picture books that my son wanted to pass along. This opened up more space for his growing interest in chapter books and easy readers. I also freshened up some book bins in other rooms of the house. It felt great! A nagging thought I've been having came to the forefront though. We need a better system for our library books. They're frequently mixed in with our other books and we have trouble hunting them down, often when they're overdue (shhh). I located great systems in the September issue of Today's Parent and on EverythingEtsy.com, and am interested in your approach. How do you make sure the books and other materials your kids bring home from the library are lovingly used and cared for... and returned on time? Do you keep them all together? Do you scatter them about? How do you encourage your kids to read? Please share your strategies in the comments below.