Posts Tagged ‘reading’

How to Cultivate a Love for Reading in Young Children

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

children reading
One of my biggest joys as a parent has been to watch my kids’ reading skills develop.

Last year, Abby participated in the local Battle of the Books competition at her school and her team won first place in the fourth grade across several elementary schools. It was a moment  that beamed with parental pride–the quiet joy of accomplishment.

Now, as I watch my 2-year-old scurry over to my lap with a stack of board books, I wonder where the path of reading will take him….


I realize there is a nature v. nurture element to reading: some of us might not be born-readers. I certainly wasn’t as a child. But, there are things you can do now for your children to nurture their love for reading, even if it’s not part of their nature.

1. Read to them early.  I think I started reading to my kids as soon as it held their attention, probably around 3 months.  Board books with bright colors and short sentences are perfect for the infant and toddler stages.


2. RhymeTime.  Even as an adult, I still love poems and stories that rhyme. When my kids were young, we read Dr. Seuss almost every night. (I think I still have Green Eggs and Ham memorized.)

Not only are rhymes fun to read and hear, but research suggests that rhyming jumpstarts a child’s reading career:

“Because rhyming words – words that have sounds in common – often share spelling sequences in their written form, children sensitive to rhymes are well equipped to develop their reading.”


3. Storytime. Your local library is an amazing resource for children, even at a very young age. Most libraries have story times for babies and young children that incorporate music, story telling, and rhymes. My kids L O V E D story time at the library. I’m thankful that such a fun (and free) activity developed their love for reading at such an early age.


Kids at Library

4. Books as Toys. Leave a basket of board books wherever you keep your children’s toys. That way, the books will catch their eye as much as the shiny, red fire trucks.

5. Develop a nighttime ritual.  Read to your kids every night before they go to bed. It doesn’t have to be anything super long. Reading is a calming activity for children and the sound of your voice will soothe them right before they go to sleep.

6. Books on CD. Once my kids dropped their afternoon nap (the horror!), they still had an hour-long quiet time in their rooms after lunch. When they were old enough to follow along (around age 3), I left books on CD in their rooms. They loved listening for the sound of the beep to turn the page. When they followed along in the book before they could read,  I think it helped them recognize words later on.


7. Teach your child to read in 100 Easy Lessons.


 When you think you’re kids are ready, and only if you want to, you can teach your kids to read on their own with this book. I taught my oldest to read before he started kindergarten, and I swear my daughter learned just by listening along. The lessons are hands-on and only 20 minutes per day. My kids never seemed overwhelmed; in fact, they were eager to do the next day’s lesson.


IMG_4285Happy Reading!

Next week, I’ll post about our favorite books for different age levels.

What are the reading rituals in your family?

Friday Favorites: November 14th

Friday, November 14th, 2014

friday, favorites


Well, hello.

It’s Friday, and so much good stuff is happening right now.

My little brother and his wife had their first baby girl last night. That’s pretty significant by itself, but we’re excited in the Davis fam because it’s the first girl cousin. Abby is surrounded by boys–3 brothers and 2 boy cousins. We love them and all, but it’s a nice win for the gals in the family. Plus, I get to buy cute, girl clothes again.

I already got her this:



I’m pretty sure she’s going to wear it everyday.


My brother and his wife are 6’4″ and 6’5″, respectively, which means, YES, she’s taller.  If you want to laugh (really hard), watch the two of us walk around together. It’s like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie Twins.

We joke with them that they are going to birth an entire NBA team, so it’s pretty funny that the initials of their first little one are M.V.P.

Can’t wait to meet this girl.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I’m in planning mode for Thanksgiving. What about you?

I picked up the turkey today, and now I’m dreaming about the sides.

While I was on Pinterest today, I saw these printable Thanksgiving MadLibsI’m pretty sure they’re going to be a hit at the table, especially between my dad and the kids. 

I’m also not much of a fall decorator, but I like to do something simple for the table on Thanksgiving. Saw this centerpiece this week and was sold. Easy, simple, and elegant.

* * * * * * * * * * *

What I read (am reading) this week…

I’m finally taking up Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.


I’ve been wanting to read it for several years, but just kept forgetting. But she’s gotten some press recently for her newest book in this series, Lila, which is supposed to be the best.

The New York Times did a great, reflective piece on her recently called The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson. In it, she talks about our culture’s default culture of fear, and how we use it as an excuse for inactivity or worse. Good weekend reading.


Finally, I’m a little late to the party on this one, as usual, but if you haven’t read Glennon Melton’s parenting article Don’t Carpe Diem in the Huffington Post, stop whatever you’re doing now and READ it. It’s one of the best parenting articles I’ve ever read.


Happy Friday to all.