Creating a reading friendly environment at home

Dec 2011
How to create a reading friendly environment at home
Show your children you enjoy reading too by reading for pleasure

Creating a 'reading friendly' environment at home is one way to increase your child's chances of improving their literacy skills and, most importantly, their appreciation of reading.

Fortunately, creating such an environment doesn't require any special knowledge or investment. By following a few simple steps you could help your children grow in to an avid reader simply by creating a climate at home where reading is an important part of their day.

Read to them from infancy
This is the first thing you should do in order to introduce your kids to the world of books. Reading to your child at a very young age will develop the vocabulary that they need to communicate with others in the years ahead. Also, kids who hear books read out loud from a young age develop their language skills faster.

Once they start school, those kids will probably have a much better grasp of literacy than children who did not enjoy the same benefits.

Additionally, the story they are listening to will also help to develop their imagination.

Have books around
Having books to read is the first thing kids need. Keep books all over the house wherever children spend time: the bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom... Wherever they have a place to read, ensure there is a book, comic or magazine around.

The public library is a great resource to discover interesting titles and books. Educate your children in a way that they acknowledge the advantages of libraries and learn to love them. On top of this, making use of the library is more economical than purchasing books every time � which will make the creation of a 'reading friendly' environment much cheaper for parents.

Make them interested
As well as adults, children like to spend most of their time on something they are interested in. Whether it is a TV show, a movie, a magazine or a book, it helps if you choose a subject that the child is already interested in. Keep in mind that choosing books appropriate to their age is important too � otherwise they could easily be bored by one which is too difficult tor too easy.

Book bag
Whenever you go on holiday or for a long trip in the car, encourage your kids to take a book bag with them. This means they can enjoy reading wherever life takes them.

Reading area
It is also advisable to create a cosy reading area with shelves full of their favourite titles. A comfy chair, a good reading light and an interesting book will help them to cultivate a love of reading.

Reading routine
Try to get them used to reading each day and for a certain amount of time. Reading after going to bed, for instance, is a good idea. This routine will also relax and calm them down before it is time to go the sleep.

Create a good example
Show your children you enjoy reading as well by reading for pleasure. Create a home atmosphere in which reading is encouraged, praised and supported. Talk about what you read and ask them about the books they are reading.