5 Ways to Help Your Child Develop a Life-Long Love of Reading

Cory Eckert, Librarian, and Amy Radack, Assistant Librarian

In honor of the Big Bearkat Book Bash and National Library Week, the Post Oak Library is sharing ways you can help your child love to read.

1. Read aloud to your child

Many parents cherish the time spent reading to a baby or toddler before bed, but family reading time does not have to stop when your child becomes an independent reader. Several studies have proven that reading aloud to children of all ages releases oxytocin, helping them associate reading with feeling loved. This impact is magnified when your child is touching you, so snuggle up and read! It’s the surest way research has proven to turn children into lifelong readers.

2. Model your family value of reading

Prepare your environment to signal to your children what is important to you—allocating physical space to books, investing in books (try second-hand or the library), and spending your own time reading books for pleasure are all linked in studies as helping children become lifelong readers. Spending time at the public library as a family also helps them associate reading with positive experiences.

3. Free reading choice

Research has shown that when students are allowed to read books they choose themselves, regardless of level, they are more likely to continue reading and find it enjoyable. *Bonus! This even works with graphic novels. 

4.    Read the book your child is reading and talk to them about it

You might discover some brilliant new reads, and your child will know you value their taste and recommendations.

5.    Listen to audiobooks in the car (free with your public library card)

Listening to an audiobook together is a great shared experience and gives you the opportunity to talk about the story—what do you think will happen next? What did that phrase mean? Why do you think that character made that choice? You can download thousands of free children’s audiobooks from the Houston Public Library onto your phone!

For recommendations for great reads, email Cory or Amy in the Post Oak Library.

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