By Katie Lowry
Would you like to expose your child to 1.8 million words per year? Of course you would, but how? 20 minutes. Research has shown that just 20 minutes of reading each day adds up to 1.8 million words per year! You can learn more about this here.
As parents, we know reading is good for our kids. Most of us have been told that exposing our little ones to books early on helps build life long learners and paves the way for future school success. When I first had my daughter I thought finding 20 minutes a day would be a breeze, but then life happened.
Like so many families, my day is typically filled with prepping meals, getting everyone to school and work on time, homework, bath time and cleaning up. The daily grind often leaves me feeling like I have very few moments, and often even less energy available to share a good book with my kiddos. Recently I realized I needed to find a way to ensure we made time to read together.
Here are a few tips on ways that my family has found more time for books :
Reading isn't only for bedtime. Look at your daily routine and find a time that a quick book or chapter may be shared. This could be during breakfast, tub time or before getting out of bed to start the day.
Enjoy stories in all forms. Reading doesn't have to come from a traditional book. Look into finding audiobooks that can be enjoyed in the car while shuttling the kids to and from activities.
Make it a family activity. Enlist older siblings to do the reading. Not only do the little ones love getting the extra attention and time from siblings but this is great fluency practice for big brother or sister as well.
Take advantage of waiting times. Keep a book or magazines in your bag so that they can be shared when waiting for curbside pick up of groceries, when picking up a child from school or waiting to go into a doctors appointment.
Books don't only belong on the bookshelf, make them available, everywhere. Find places throughout your home to create small collections of books that can be explored. A little corner in the kitchen, a stack in the bathroom, a shelf in the playroom. One of my favorite spots is a pocket behind the driver seat in the car. Keep books within reach of little hands and be sure to update them regularly to hold their interest.
The impacts of reading with your children daily won't only benefit them. It gives you a chance to connect and spend quality time with them. Perhaps my favorite benefit of exploring books with my kids is that it gives me an opportunity to tap into the way they see the world, something that is often very refreshing.
I hope that you are able to try one or more of these tips and I wish you and your family happy reading.