3 Easy Steps To Ensure Your Children Grow Up To Be Readers

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I had visions of my child sharing my love of literature. They would be someone who would happily sit on my lap and let me read to them and of course someone who would, eventually, jump at the opportunity to be sorted into their Hogwarts House (come on Bub, be a Ravenclaw, just like your mother!)

So along comes my beautiful baby girl. A lot like Harry Potter in the respect that she looks very little like her mother and very much like her father, but hooray! She got my eyes! My daughter is still just a baby so she doesn’t understand what I’m saying, but I read to her anyway! Below are 3 easy steps I’ll be taking (and you can too) to ensure my daughter and any future children I have, grow up to love reading.

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Give Them Easy Access to Books and a Cosy Place to Read.

Whether the books are purchased and kept on a shelf at home or you take a walk to the local library and get yourself a library card, books should always be made easily accessible for your children! Reading shouldn’t be a burden, so having access to books is key to having children that want to read! I can vividly remember being taken to the library as a child and it certainly felt like a magical place to me! I am now lucky enough to have been able to create my own personal library at home that I add to every so often. So I guess taking me to the library worked wonders for my mother in sparking my interest in books!

Now, this part isn’t completely necessary, but I think it helps! Set up a reading nook! Somewhere that is cosy and quiet, where you can sit and read to your kids, or if you have older children, somewhere they can sit and read without interruption. There are some really wonderful children’s reading chairs on the market if you’re looking to make it extra special! One of my favourite children’s chairs is from IKEA. It can be found here.

Start Young and Make Reading Fun.

Make it an event, make it theatrical and make it fun! As I said, my daughter is only young so story time isn’t so much about the story as it is about mum making funny faces/voices while she holds up pretty pictures. However, despite not having a clue what I’m saying, she laughs, giggles and squeals! Making story time a time for laughter and enjoyment is something I strive towards. I want my daughter to associate reading with enjoyment and I believe that starts now, while she is young.

If you have older children, try putting an emphasis on using their imaginations! Maybe ask them what they think certain characters look like, or how they picture the landscape the author is describing! Making a fun discussion out of it and taking the time to share your thoughts is, not only a great way to bond with your kids, but also a way to make reading more dynamic and interesting! Reading a book can be as good as going on an adventure or watching a movie and it makes for great family time too!

Make Sure They See You Reading For Fun Too!

And lastly this step, to me, is the most important to ensuring children grow up to love reading. Now I know the saying goes “do as I say, not what I do” but how often has that ever rang true. Children are our mirror image and, especially when they are young, they learn by watching us. Our behaviours, interactions and how we communicate is what shapes them as people. By making time to read yourself, you’re showing your kids that it is important.

My daughter is only little, but it doesn’t stop me for putting a book in her hands for a few minutes while I read a chapter of my own book next to her. She doesn’t read yet of course, she would rather be chewing the corner of her book. But I’d like to think that eventually, as she grows up, she will see the joy I get from reading and perhaps emulate that herself!

Maybe she’ll even ask if we can read Harry Potter together, one can only hope! Fingers crossed!

5 Books Every Little Girl Should Have On Their Bookshelf

I am the mother of a fairly new human being. That human being happens to be a little girl and I feel a strong sense of responsibility to create an environment for her where she knows that girls can do and be anything they choose to if they work hard enough.

My daughter is currently only six months old, I know, I know! “She can’t even read yet!” You’re right, she can’t! But this book loving Mama has to prepare because an appreciation for books is in this little girls blood, I just know it!

Below are my top five books that I believe every little girl should have on their book shelves!

1. Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

This beautiful book is easily my number one pick when it comes to books for my daughter! Each page has a quick, easy to read story about a famous woman throughout history! Such women include Michelle Obama, Frida Kahlo and Amelia Earhart! The illustrations are beautiful and the stories are perfect for a quick, before bed time adventure!

Age range: according to the Rebel Girls website this book is best for girls/woman between the ages of 4 and 101!

2. Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling (illustrated edition)

It wouldn’t be a Reading Sumpton list if I didn’t include Harry Potter! These books are full of amazing female characters! The likes of the phenomenal Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood and Minerva McGonagall grace these pages! This is a story, at its very core, of love and friendship and I would hope that one day my daughter and I will be able to read these books together! I have only included the first book on my list, but all of them are fantastic.

Age range: technically the Harry Potter series is a categorised as a middle grade read (9-12 years) but for the sake of every human being my age who is still flicking through these pages, I’d say ages 9 and up!

3. My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can A Little Girl Dream by Jennifer Fosberry

This short, fun book is all about a little girls journey to self-identity through women’s history! Throughout the book Isabella imagines being different woman who changed the world, choosing different characteristics that she admires about each. Until one day she realises that being herself is actually pretty great too and that she already encompasses all those wonderful traits herself!

This is a sweet and beautifully illustrated book that teaches young girls that they are capable of doing whatever they set their minds to, just as women before them have done!

Age range: 4 to 8 years.

4. Matilda by Roald Dahl

So this one could just be because I am a nineties baby and grew up both reading Roald Dahl and watching the movie Matilda constantly. But this incredibly funny and inspiring book is one I would highly recommend having on your little girls shelves! Matilda is an incredibly smart, funny and quick witted little girl who overcomes the many struggles she faces in her life. She has a tenacious spirit and a flare for revenge against those who have wronged her! This is the kind of laugh out loud book that I will definitely be introducing my daughter to!

Age range: Ages 7 and up!

5. Strong Is The New Pretty: A Celebration Of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker

Now this one is a little different! Girls are fearless, smart, wild and powerful! This collection of photographs showcases real girls, being their authentic selves, in their element proving this! This inspiring work aims to show readers that girls aren’t just “pretty” but that they are so much more than that! This book is a “celebration of girls being themselves” and I think thats possibly one of the most important things we can teach our daughters!

Age range: Ages 4 and up.

That wraps up my top five books that every little girl should have on their bookshelf! Whether the women in these stories are fictional or not, I hope that they inspire more girls to reach for the stars and know that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to.