As my active two-year-old has gotten, well, more active, I find it harder for her to sit through an entire book. She either wants to flip the pages early or she wants a different book. Now, she’s asking to play a game instead, or even watch a movie. As she nears three, and reading becomes more important, how can I continue to keep her engaged and develop a love for reading? This is what we’ve tried, and so far, what works!
Go to the Library
The library has been a major win. Seeing all the new books, and other kids excited by them too, has been a sure-fire way to get my daughter to sit and read. We have a few more issues with distraction, but it is so fun to see and hear something new and to meet new friends! You may also catch a story time where other children are sitting and listening to a book, which can be a fun change up.
Make It Interactive
Whether I pull out a flashlight (thanks, Peppa Pig, for that idea!) or choose the books with buttons, looking at books in a new light has helped hold my daughter’s interest in books. You can spend time looking at the pictures together, searching for certain objects with a flashlight. Let them push the buttons with the corresponding pages. Maybe find a new book specifically made for an interest of theirs that comes with an interactive object. Stuffed animals and puppets, flashlights, and CDs are all new, fun ways to explore a book.
Change it up!
Read in a new or funny place. Build a fort, crawl under the table, or hide under the blankets. By making reading an adventure, rather than just something associated with bed time as in our case, we’ve been able to keep it fun.
Read on Something Different
Try reading a story on a computer, following along with closed captioning, listening to an audiobook on a drive, or even reading on an iPad. Showing that these fun devices also include reading make it a little more exciting.
Check out our purchase some cookbooks! For younger kids, find a favorite cookbook laced with bright pictures and stories, such as some of our favorites by Ree Drummond—Pioneer Woman, and you can make dinner together while you read! Turn it up a couple notches as your child ages, and have them help you read and follow the instructions.
Going for a walk near a wooded area? Read a book about a forest. The zoo? Learn about a giraffe! By prefacing an exciting outing with a little reading, we’re able to show not only how much there is to learn about the world, but how a book can help you explore. We love pointing out things we’ve seen in books while we go on an outing! Even something as mundane as bathing or brushing your teeth has many fun books written about it.
Practice what you Preach
One of the biggest things we’ve learned? We need to show our daughter that we like to read, too. If she never sees me read before bed because she’s already asleep, or follows along as dad studies at work, we don’t set a good example very often. When we take the time to read with her as a family, even sometimes each of us with our own book, we can show her the joy we get from reading, too.
Still getting asked when you can watch Paw Patrol?
Luckily many popular children’s shows and movies also have related books. Perhaps, during the week, you can read the books. When you finish them all, have a movie night! It’s a great opportunity to discuss the differences and point out things in the book.
Help us! What are ways you develop your child’s love for reading as they age?
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