I confess, I love books. 

I've always been a reader so encouraging a love of reading in my children has always been important to me since becoming a parent. 

Now as a teacher, I have other parents asking how best to encourage reading at home so I'm sharing some of the tips that have worked for me in encouraging a love of reading with my children. 

Encouraging a Love of Reading - Tips for reading with your child | you clever monkey

Read and read often. 

We also read early. All of my children have been read to from birth because of my love for books. Many studies show that reading from an early age helps develop children's speech and language providing them with a solid foundation ahead of starting school. As parents, we are our child's first teacher and, consequently, responsible for their language and speech development in their early years. How we interact with our children is of great consequence - the more language a child is exposed to each day increases their vocabulary and reading a variety of good books makes this task easier.

Make time every day.

When home with my first child, we would  read together most mornings after breakfast and then again before bed. Once there was two to read with, reading straight after lunch gave us all some quiet time together and was a perfect time for discussion too. Young children value routine and what better way to end your day than by enjoying a good story together?

Make it a good thing.

Make reading a positive experience for you both. At around 12-15 months my second child couldn't sit through a whole book, often leaving my lap to go and get the next book so we started reading more interactive books instead - sturdy ones that required her to touch and feel, open and shut parts. 

Explore together.

Find new books to enjoy together. Seek out content that will stimulate your child's imagination although finding suitable books can prove challenging if you live in a location like we do away from bookshops with shelves of books ready for browsing but you can read and re-read the same book. This can help children develop early literacy skills and later, help them become more confident, fluent readers themselves as they begin to read independently. Reading is a skill that needs to be learnt - mostly through practice.

Books anywhere and everywhere.

Make books available to your children so they can explore them at their own pace. This can also be a useful way to find out what sort of books your child is interested in. We have books in their bedrooms, in a basket in the lounge room which I rotate books through regularly and another in the kitchen next to a comfy chair. 

Libraries are important.

Take them to your local library and let them choose their own books or help them find books that focus what interests them. We brought home 15 different books about space recently from our library. 

Model the behaviour you want to see.

Let your children catch you reading! There is no more powerful way to show a child how much you value reading than to see you enjoying a good book yourself.

Remember that every child is a unique individual and what works for one may not work for another. The approach taken with my three children has been slightly different each time but the end result sees them all loving books and loving reading.