Studies indicate that the more a child reads, the better reader and writer they become. Regular reading broadens vocabulary, increases comprehension, higher level thinking skills, and general world knowledge. I don't think anyone would argue that reading regularly isn't a good thing, but the question is, how do I get my child to want to read? The first step is to make reading more accessible by organizing your children's books. When we go to the library, it is clearly organized. If we are in the mood for a romance novel, head to the romance isle with the other swooners. If we are looking for a travel book of Florence, mosey over to the travel section between Fiji and Florida. Imagine going to the library and seeing all of the books mixed up-- no mystery isle, no poetry corner. How overwhelmed would we be? You would probably throw your hands in the air and turn around, right?
A mixed up, disorganized shelf of children's books will produce the same response in children.
1. Organize your child's library by genre/category. Take an afternoon and put the books into different piles based on category; here are some suggested categories:
- funny books
- comic books
- great illustrations
- my favorite books
- Mom and Dad's favorite books
- realistic fiction
- Magic School Bus Series (or other favorite series)
- Roald Dahl books (or other favorite authors)
Getting your child to help you do this would be a great way to get them involved and excited about the new library.
2. Pick up some plastic tubs I've found that it is much easier for a child to look through a small tub of a few books as opposed to a big, solid shelf of books. It breaks the library into managable chunks and helps to keep it neat and organized.
3. Label the tubs Whether you print the labels off the computer or handwrite them, it doesn't matter, as long as each tub is clearly labeled with the category.
4. Sticker the books You might be thinking, there is no way my child will put the books back in the right tub when they are done. I have a solution! Pick up a few packs of stickers. Put one sticker on the outside of each tub and put the same sticker on the cover of each book in that tub. Explain to your child that once they are finished with a book, to look for the tub that has the same sticker as the book.
5. Make a book box Have another tub or basket be labeled "(Name)'s Book Box" or "Books I Want to Read Soon". Your child can put the books they want to read soon or are currently reading here. This avoids a big stack on the bedside table. :) Now that you have organized your child's library, reading is less daunting and the books are more accecible. Now all thats left to do is to start reading! Read with your child, have family reading time, as a family, go to a coffee shop, everyone with a book under their arm. Make reading part of your family's daily life. I'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you have some methods or activities that have encouraged your child to read more?