Cultivating a Love of Reading and Language in your Child

This is a guest post by Emily Patterson (@epatt1062), submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools: child care aiming to deliver the best and most trusted early childhood education

Imparting a love of reading and learning in a child is perhaps the greatest gift a parent can give. Early literacy is associated with success in school. While reading difficulties, can lead to struggles in the classroom that increase the odds of future truancy, substance abuse, behavioral problems, and poor decision making skills.

Studies have shown that children’s books contain 50-percent more words that children are unlikely to encounter in spoken interactions, than television. In addition to a powerful increase in vocabulary, reading aloud to young children has been proven to increase motivation, curiosity, memory, and language and cognitive skills. The one-on-one attention from a parent during the process of reading aloud also helps the child to create a positive association with books that carries into adulthood. Studies have shown that starting to read aloud to a child at birth will expand their vocabulary and cognitive abilities. They will have an easier time grasping the mechanics of reading later in childhood. While they can’t understand the words, reading to the child in exaggerated tones makes the process enjoyable. When the child is old enough, provide him or her with books. Allow them to learn to turn pages and soak up illustrations. For toddlers, create associations between the reading material and the toddler’s own life. For example, “That puppy looks exactly like Mrs. Smith’s puppy!”

Carving out time to read to your child daily is essential. Whether it’s 15 minutes or 30 minutes, making the time shows the child that reading is important. Engage the child by discussing pictures and creating an interactive experience. Let your child pretend to read to you, even if it is based on memorization. While reading the same book for the tenth time can be monotonous, repetition is actually an important part of childhood development.

As children head into their kindergarten and elementary school years it is important to keep up the reading tradition. Read books in addition to those assigned at school. Choose melodic, rhyming text to allow the child to associate spelling and pronunciation. Encourage the child to read simple books aloud to develop confidence. Let them choose books that they enjoy. The more engaged in the subject, the more likely they are to develop a habit of reading for pleasure. In addition, start encouraging the child to read road signs, billboards, store signs, menus, and anything else they encounter.

Maintain your child’s exposure to reading by developing a few key habits:

• Take advantage of the local library. Sign your child up for a library card and make frequent trips to check out books. Take part in story hours, or other activities offered at the library, to engage them and help them to see other children their age enjoying books.

• Turn your home into a literary paradise. Create a library of age-appropriate books so that reading material is always on-hand. Bring books for long car trips, doctors’ appointments, and other occasions where the child will be sitting for an extended period of time.

• Develop your own reading habit! If your child sees you reading they will be more likely to continue their relationship with books.

• Develop their love of words by playing games, such as Scrabble, writing stories, singing songs, or engaging in rhyming games. This will not only help with their reading and comprehension abilities, but also develop their language skills.

Early literacy is key for success in school. By reinforcing the importance of the written word and making time each day for reading, children will develop an affinity for books. Reading is a lifelong habit. Cultivate it early by picking up a book and spending one-on-one time reading with your child on a regular basis.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

Catch me on G+.


  1. lovingly mama says

    While we are not deliberate sometimes, we try to inculcate reading and the love of language to Dindin in many ways. When she was able to sit up at around 4 months, I started opening books in front of her and she was ecstatic. When she was around 10 months, we started her on videos. She would study on her own and before we realized it, she was already saying things that are not common for a toddler. And the best thing is, she knows how to use the vocabulary that she has heard in different situations. At 1 year and 6 months, she would give praises like “Great Job!” or “Awesome!” And yeah, before she turned 2, she can already “read” some words, not just memorize them, because she can read them even if they are hand written. It’s true, reading is one great legacy that we can impart to our children. :D

  2. I agree Peps..reading books will always help your child learn many can always be beneficial when they see you read with them..I am always reading books and when my daughter is 3 yrs.old out of her curiosity she would always ask and read with my daughter has always been on top 1 ..3 years na :)

  3. A very timely topic Pep since kids nowadays would rather spend time infront of the TV or computer. Reading has taken a back seat. I’m more encouraged to develop my lil one’s reading habits. I’m sometimes guilty of not spending enough time reading to her.

  4. When a child learns to read, everything follows. i am glad Pepper that i have inculcated reading in my little boy when he was still an infant. i never regretted buying books kahit na they’re expensive, because now, he is so into books. he just loves to read. thanks for the comment on my blog… i love what you said, distant or near… hehehe…

  5. Learning Tools for Kids says

    Hello Lony, Yes love to reading and learninng is core component of educational process. Recently I’ve started blog where I’m talking about it. I would be happy to see your comments. Nice post. Keep going!

Speak Your Mind