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Raising Readers: Helping My Kids Develop A Love For Reading

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I’m more of a reader than a writer. I find reading a pleasurable experience because I get to encounter new words, discover new things, meet strangers, and visit unfamiliar places. In a nutshell (for me), reading is a way of life. So if there’s just one trait I want to pass down to my children, that would be my love for reading.

Reading and Children

Experts say that we should read to our children at least 15 minutes a day to help improve their intellectual, social, and emotional development. True enough, we hold the key to our children’s learning potential.

I read books to my children because I want to expand their vocabulary, improve their imagination & creativity, and create an indispensable and rewarding habit that they will enjoy. Reading is also one of the cheapest ways to bond with my boys so I’m seizing every opportunity.

Why Read To Your Child

Reading Tips

  • Use picture books for starters.
  • Make it a routine (ever heard of bedtime stories?) or read at a time when your child is most alert.
  • Minimize distractions to maximize the reading experience.
  • Pause to make room for reactions and questions.
  • Give a summary at the end of every story.
  • Ask for feedback after reading a book.
  • Take your child to the bookstore and let him or her choose books.
  • Show your personal interest and anticipation.
  • Pick a conducive spot to read in — comfortable and with plenty of light.
  • Read aloud (and with feelings) to keep things lively and engaging.
  • Recall stories you’ve read together when a similar situation comes up.
  • Be patient. Children tend to move around while you’re reading.
  • Create a reading log to track your daily reading minutes. Check out 20 for 20 Family Reading Challenge by Scholastic.com. 

Books

I always make sure that my children have access to a variety of books suited to their developmental stage. We do keep and reread old books but I also update their collection from time to time. Introducing new books excites them and fuels their curiosity. If you’re a certified bookworm, you know what I mean.

Just before classes started this year, I organized their books and encyclopedias on the shelf to make our reading time easy and convenient.

Here are a few good titles to choose from, for toddlers and preschoolers alike.

 

My youngest is one year and 4 months old so I let him use fabric books. These fabric books (or cloth books) are ideal for babies and toddlers because they are soft and squishy. Soft books also have a touch-and-feel feature, with different textures to help stimulate your children’s sense of touch.

Here are some of Neo’s soft books: Stuffed toy car with a story book underneath by SoftPlay (given by my dad), My Boo Book by Anne Wilkinson for Jellycat Soft Books (given by my Tita Yhet), and The Wonderful World of Peekaboo! by Read and Play (I bought this for my eldest 4 years ago at SM Baby Company.)

Fabric Books for Babies

Watch Neo leafing through the pages of his Peekaboo! book.

For toddlers, I recommend that you buy them interactive books that play sound effects and songs. These electronic learning and educational toys will help toddlers engage with books through fun and play. It will also give you lots of time to do what you need to do because your child will surely spend long minutes playing with his or her toy slash book.

Zaiel was playing with his VTech Peek A Boo Book. It sings nursery rhymes and lights up in the middle. I bought it from Rustan’s 3 years ago.

Interactive books for Children

Check out these other interactive electronic books from Amazon.

Read also:  3 Reasons Why I Love Ian Darcy Oil-Rich Fragrance Collections

   
 

My eldest, Zaiel, is fond of books. He would ditch toys for books, especially if they’re new. At an early age of 2, he would open books by himself and ask me to start reading. At three, he already has an idea about a story by merely looking at the pictures.

Zaiel is now a preschooler and I’m sharing with you a few of his favorite books. Click on the links to view full descriptions.

Books for Preschoolers

Where To Buy Books

Most books in our bookshelf are gifted/given by generous family and friends, then everything else is handpicked by yours truly. Here’s a list of bookstores/places where I usually buy books:

  • National Book Store. They have promos and book sales every now and then. Also watch out for their Warehouse Sale.
  • Fully Booked. My favorite bookstore.
  • Powerbooks. My next fave bookstore.
  • Booksale. They always have books on sale, hence the brand name. Perfect for those who love a little “Thrill of the Hunt” game.
  • Precious Pages. Located at 3F, City Center, SM North. We go there to buy Lampara books.
  • The Learning Basket. It’s a homeschooling blog by Mariel. Her shop has a wide selection of books for children of all ages.
  • Garage Sales. My dad is the know-it-all person when it comes to garage sales. I go with him often to check out some good finds, whether books or house decors.

 

My mini haul: Counting Chicks: A Hop Movie Tie-In by Kirsten Mayer and Pancakes, Pancakes! and A House for Hermit Crab, both by Eric Carle (kids love Eric Carle!) All of these for PhP 30. The original price of the book Counting Chicks is PhP 199. See, you can get good books without busting your budget.

Books vs. eBooks

Both. But make sure you’ve already established the basics of reading a ‘traditional’ book to your child. For apps, I recommend the Bible for Kids. It’s an interactive story book for children, has a ‘Read to Me’ option, and it’s free. You may also buy or download free ebooks for children and open them in iBooks, Kindle, or in a PDF reader on your tablet.

Share the Love of Reading

I was with my son Zaiel at NBS last year when we learned about Project Aklat. We donated a book worth PhP 50 to the children of Tacloban who were victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). In our own little ways, we can teach our kids the value of reading.

Reading is a valuable skill; a basic foundation of learning. If you’re a parent, encourage your babies and kids to read. Become a reading advocate. Remember that you’re not only teaching them how to read, but also offering them one of the most important gifts you can give — your time.




Published: 2014-08-09 09:11:41

30 Comments

  1. Vance Madrid

    I am a firm believer that a child who reads is a child who leads. thanks for sharing some tips on how to encourage and inculcate love for reading for the kids. they are really helpful.

    18 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      I agree with you. Thanks for the visit! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  2. sarah tirona

    great tips! i think its really impt to instill reading as a habit for them at a young age esp now that its all about tablets and smartphones.

    18 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      True! Thanks for the visit! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  3. Lique Dimayuga

    We love books too! Thanks for sharing this.

    18 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      You’re welcome! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  4. Jackie Park

    I saw your blog on Mommy Bloggers and found your post title very interesting. I love that you gave so many examples of what children can read. Every night I read to my daughter (she has about 5 English books and I read them every night on rotation) and now she asks us to read to her even in the morning or afternoon. I love this about her and hope my second child (who is coming soon) will be like her, too. This will sound silly pero I dream of the day that our whole family can go to the library together and bond over books, haha. πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts. πŸ™‚

    18 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Keep it up mommy, and thank you! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  5. Que Sullano - Gavan

    My son has his own book shelves and I’m happy that at 4, he can read almost anything. And it’s true, you have to model so they will imitate what they see.

    19 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Start them young! Thanks for the visit πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  6. work@homeMillie

    Fantastic! I agree with you, reading is imperative. My kids love to read, too. I love how they look when holding a book- genuine happiness and eagerness to learn/read. πŸ™‚ Great tips, bookmarking this one!

    19 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  7. Michelle Martinezι‚±η’§ηŽ‰ (@xoxoMrsMartinez)

    My daughter has her own box where she kept all her books. I love reading to her (with feelings, of course!) and she loves listening to my stories hehe

    Thanks for sharing some of the titles.

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

    19 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      I might put some books in a box, too. The shelf is too high for them. Thanks!

      15 . Apr . 2015
  8. Ayi

    My kids love reading πŸ™‚ My mom encouraged me to read when I was still young and I plan to imbibe them on my kids. I have yet to fix their playroom but they have a separate storage area for their books πŸ™‚

    19 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Yes, a separate area for the books is better. Para walang distractions. πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  9. nicareyes

    Good job mommy! With all the gadgets available, we really have to find ways to help kids love books. I believe that “A reader is a leader”. Now training my future leader (2 years old) too to love books. He has a tiny reading corner at home, and it amazes me to see him enjoy his corner. We read from the iPad too… I agree, Bible for Kids is a great app. πŸ™‚

    19 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Thank you! And good job, too! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  10. Cherryl Luis

    Makakatulong talaga sa kids yung bata palang natuto na magbasa. They will crave for more books and story to read. That was happened to my kids. Ngayun may problem is where to put their old books. Kasi parang mas excited pa sila pumunta sa bookstore kesa sa recreation or game centers sa mall. Another is medyo mahal yung books. hehehhe

    20 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Buy books during sales. Thanks mommy! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  11. Viva Kitchen Goddess

    My daughter is a late-bloomer when it comes to reading.. I think 7 years old na sya when she started liking books. Now she’s a certified bookworm and can finish a thick book in a day .. she is also into Shakespeare now.. I don’t try to influence her with what books are good for her. Its the other way around. πŸ™‚

    21 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Wow, Shakespeare! good job! It’s never really too late. πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  12. Janice

    I’m a reading advocate too and I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to pass down my passion to all my three kids. It’s really best to start them young. Now, my kids are all growing their own book collections, too. πŸ™‚

    21 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Yes we should be setting an example to our kids. Glad to meet you, fellow reading advocate! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  13. Maria Teresa Figuerres

    Reading is knowledge, so it’s really important to develop the love of reading in our children. My son is at an age where he prefers playing online games, instead of reading books. That’s one thing we hope to change this summer, so yes, we’re exposing him to new titles to rouse his interest.

    22 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Hi! Schedule a summer reading program. Good luck mommy! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  14. tweenselmom

    Learning starts from reading, and we should teach them to learn to analyze din, to apply what they read in real life. That’s what I’m hoping to teach my older kids, so medyo mas sensible na yung mga books that I want them to read.

    24 . Mar . 2015
    • Amethystine

      Yes, sometimes we should be choosy about what to read to our children. Thanks for the visit! πŸ™‚

      15 . Apr . 2015
  15. Louisa Mercado (@2livelovelaugh5)

    Thanks for the very detailed post! Also a fellow lover of books. We have many books at home dating back to my eldest who’s already 14. So our youngest has plenty of choices. Fortunately all 3 of my kids like to read. The older kids have specific genres they like to read. My youngest loves reading about dinosaurs, fairy tales, and Dr Seuss books.

    25 . Mar . 2015
  16. Amethystine

    We also love Dr. Seuss! I’m steering clear lang of fairytales because mine are boys hehe. πŸ™‚

    15 . Apr . 2015

Thanks for dropping by!

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