How can I instill a love of books in my child?

I love reading.

I love books.

I love the classics, the tat you get to read on holidays, children’s fiction, novels and even gossip magazines.

I used to read more but in the age of the internet, social media and ((cough)) blogging, I just don’t read as much as I used to. This makes me sad and a little anxious that our children will lose the love of reading that I had as a child and teenager growing up. So how can we instill a love of books and reading in our children but in turn make sure they keep up with new technologies?

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  • Make books a priority

When your child is a baby buy simple, brightly coloured board books so that your child gets in the habit of seeing these books as equal to other toys. Buy the books that are age appropriate such as ones all about animals or colours. This will keep your baby and young child interested. Toddlers and Preschoolers love rhyme and alliteration so there are thousands of picture books out there to choose from. Make storytime part of your daily routine so that your child can see that they are a priority. Let your child see you read too. Then they can see that it’s an enjoyable activity.

  • Let them read whatever they want to.

We are all different and what your child likes to read may not be what you want them to read. I have heard parents complain that their child not reading Swallows and Amazons or that they don’t want them to read another fairy book. Well, firstly Swallows and Amazons may be a classic but modern children don’t always relate to the classics. I am not saying they shouldn’t read Swallows and Amazons but it may not be enjoyable to them right now. They may want to read another Fairy or Horrid Henry book. It’s safe for them and they understand them. Let them read these choices!

Oxnard Outlet: Children
Children reading
  • Don’t choose books that are just beyond them.

As a teacher I see this all the time. Parents want their child to read books that are challenging for their child however they forget that their child is only young. Some children at 7 could read War and Peace but they would not have any clue about what they were reading! Just because your child can read something doesn’t mean that they should or will. This is the reason why young readers get put off from reading because it becomes too tricky for them to follow the story or the topics are simply not in their comprehension. Simple stories are best at this early stage to encourage enjoyment and positive habits.

  • Read children’s books yourself.

There are so many books being written all the time that is tricky to make good choices when it comes to children’s books. Reading books before your child means that you can help them select books that you know that they would enjoy. Both my children were avid readers but used to get stuck reading the same authors. Whilst finding an author you love is important, it is easy to get stuck. There are so many great authors out there to discover! I also found that as my children got older they would increasingly want to read books with content I wasn’t necessarily happy with. By reading these books first, I could keep a little eye on what they were coming into contact with. Now they are teens, I obviously encourage them to read whatever they like.

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Boys sharing a book
  • Use technology

Reading is reading in my book so it doesn’t matter if it’s online or on a tablet. There are many great reading games that support reading at home that your child may love. Nothing beats the small of a new book and the crinkling of a page for me but your child may love screens as much! Just remember that screen time should be limited at a young age as they can be overstimulating at times.

My favourite books for each stage.

0-2 years

Anything with lift the flap surprises such as Where’s Spot? Dear Zoo or That’s not my dinosaur!

3-5 years

There are so many that I love but my favourites (and children’s favourites when reading to them in school) The Last Noo-Noo, Stick Man, We’re going on a Bear Hunt, Alfie gives a hand, Where’s my teddy? Superworm ( basically anything by Julia Donaldson; the woman is a genius and she lives near me!)

6-8 years

Some children at this age are ready to begin simple chapters books but they will also love to read their picture books that you have read to them up until now. My favourites are: The Worst witch, The cat in the hat, Horrid Henry, Fairytales, Rainbow magic fairy books, anything by Dick King Smith.

9-11 years

The gap between children that struggle and their classmates can really hinder a child at this age so it so important that they find something they love. Some of my favourites reflect this. I love Diary of a Wimpy kid, anything by Jacqueline Wilson, Charlie and the chocolate factory, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Gangsta Granny, Skulduggery Pleasant.

11-14 years

Getting this age group to read anything away from their phone is tricky but there are some great books out there. My favourites are: Cherub series, Tunnels series, Noughts and Crosses, The boy in the striped pyjamas, Girl Missing

5 Benefits of Reading to Children | Wishing Well

I hope you found this post informative. Thank you for reading!

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38 thoughts on “How can I instill a love of books in my child?

  • I’ve always had a love for books. It started with made up stories from my grandmother and rolled over into books as I got bigger. I always wanted a story. Luckily I’ve always been surrounded by books. Mind you I read a lot of classics when I was 11 as they were a £1 each – I could afford 5 whole books if I went to town for the day – I probably didn’t understand everything but I enjoyed them nevertheless, and still go back and read them now. All except Dickes which for some reason I just can’t get into even though I give him a go every now and again.

  • The other day my 11-year-old said (after finishing the 6th Harry Potter) “books are so cool. They are way better than movies.”

    It was one of my proudest mom moments 🙂

  • I love your recommended list by age, as you say it is so important not to put kids off with books beyond them, they get this enough at school! #fabfridaypost

  • This is such a great guide. I know that my boy is now choosing his pad over his book. Sigh – Things will need to change. I think… Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  • I was always a complete book worm as a kid and still am when I get the chance, I hoped my children would be too. My son was until he was around 6 and school placed so much emphasis on him reading his 2 school books each week (and they were always crap and boring) that he totally lost all interest. Recently he has started reading a history book that he asked for and he loves that so there may be hope yet. My youngest used to take books everywhere with her until a couple of months ago and now she refuses to have them at bedtime (stortytime was my favourite part of the bedtime routine 😩), she’s not even 3 yet! I’m not pushing it as I know that won’t help but I really hope they both rediscover a love of books x
    #FabFridayPost

  • Great tips. Them seeing you read is super important as that helps reinforce the message that it is a valuable thing to to do. Love the book choices too 🙂

  • My little ones love stories. It’s an absolute joy to see them so excited about going to the library. I try not to push learning to read, rather it to be gradual and enjoyable. This means I read a lot to them 🙂 Thanks for linking up with us #FabFridayPost

  • Lovely post. Some great tips here. You are absolutely right – it’s so important to show our kids that books are as much fun as toys/ the i-pad / the telly. Else they will never experience the joy of reading as we did.
    #blogcrush

  • Oh the smell of a new book. The crisp pages. I adore to read but, too, have let it slip a little since blogging. Funnily enough, I started a new book this weekend – it felt so so great to escape with it. Ah, children and reading – I have one who adores to read but the other two not so much unless we are on holiday. I’m hoping that they read more as they get older – the distractions are real at the moment as I’m sure us bloggers know only too well! #MarvMondays

    • I know right? Blogging is my new reading but I have returned to the classics as my daughter is taking eng lit A Level. Weirdly she took a while to read. Thank you for commenting X

  • Oh this is a great post. I’m bookmarking it as some ideas for reading material. My daughter has just turned 6 and, although she loves me to read to her, she isn’t so keen on reading for herself yet. I used to love reading The Worst Witch when I was little but I’d forgotten all about it – I think I might introduce it to her.

    I miss reading proper books. Pre-kids, I would often wander around the house with my nose in a book. These days I just don’t get chance. But reading blogs works well for me at the moment because they’re like mini stand-alone stories that I can dip and out of as my children allow. #blogcrush

    • Thank you LUCY for commenting in such detail. It’s good to see that people are reading and engaging in my posts! I do really appreciate good comments. 6 is a great age in thatshe will soon begin to read more for herself but still love to cuddle up and be read to. I don’t read as much as I did either. Like you though, I enjoy reading posts on people’s blogs. X

  • Such a great post! As well as being a mummy blogger, I’m also a book blogger and manage to fit in reading wherever possible. All the tips you’ve shared a wonderful and effective, and having put a bunch of them in place ourselves, we have a bookworm boy. #MarvMondays

    • Ahhh I’m so glad! I love blogging and books, I think blogging is such a great platform for writing posts about the things we love. Thank you so much for commenting! I will head over to your blog to take a look. X

  • A brilliant post! I am completely with you on this. I devoured books as a kid and I worry my daughter won’t. She has books everywhere though and loves sitting and looking through them so hopefully she will be a big reader. As she gets a bit older (she’s just over 2) then I will hopefully be able to sit reading my own book as she reads hers, so that she sees me reading.

    I always make sure her books are accessible though. She has a book box downstairs right next to the sofa. Then in her bedroom she has two bookshelves that are at her height so she can browse all her books with the covering facing out. She loves those! #MarvMondays

  • I really advocate reading with / to children. I agree you have to let them discover what they prefer to read. I try to provide a wide variety. She loves the silliness of Dr.Seuss and the magic of fairy stories x
    #GlobalBlogging

    • Interestingly I only discovered Dr Seuss as an adult although it’s very much a favourite in the US. I know my class love Dr Seuss and fairy stories so I expect she is about 5/6/7 years old? Enjoy! 😍

  • Oh wow this is really helpful! Totally makes sense that we should be reading the books first and leaving the books around so they are seen as equal to the toys, but would have never thought of these things! My son is only 1 year old so still learning….he does really enjoy wheres Spot and has started saying No!😁 Thanks so much for sharing with #GlobalBlogging!

  • This is a fab post and I love your suggestions! Reading is so important, especially for feeding the imagination. I used to love to read as a child and I’m glad my son seems to too. Thanks for sharing with #globalblogging

  • Great tips!! Thanks for this. My son (2 1/2) loves books. I leave them in his cot at night so when he wakes up he’s got a few to look through before getting up. Board books he couldn’t tear when he was younger but now he can be a little more trusted with paperbacks

  • I love this blog! Thanks for the tips. My 2 1/2 year old loves books. I leave them in his cot at night so he looks at them before bed and when he wakes up. Used to be just board books (though one got munched on!) but he can be trusted not to tear paperbacks now.

  • Great post with lots of good advice, Sophie. We share a love of books and a passion for turning kids onto reading. Many of the books you list are ones I would list also. 🙂

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