Explore the Experience with Games

Reading is an experience. Introduce your child to your favorite memories of reading something new – the smell of a new book or the mystery behind an unread story. Use the library or bookstore to make book-selecting into a game. Play a color-palette game: what does the cover’s color palette say about the mood of the story inside? Will bright colors yield a fun story, will dark tones lead to something ominous? Use your guessing games at home, too, by predicting what the story will be about by what the cover tells you.

Create a Personal Reading Ritual

Family memories are created in the unique experiences we encountered at home that no one else had. The trick is to find the ways you can make reading at home special. Find a spot in the home that you call your reading nook, a favorite blanket or stuffed animal your child can cuddle up, or a snack you can both enjoy every time you pick up a certain book or series. (Green eggs and ham with Dr. Seuss, maybe?) Be creative! No memory is too small to be cherished.

Ask for Lots of Feedback

When you ask your child to tell you what they loved or hated about a book, you’re doing so many things at once. You’re encouraging them to reflect, to organize their thoughts and emotions and you’re creating a lasting bond that they’ll associate with reading and family. This simple tip is one of the most powerful. Just remember that when it’s time to ask your child about their opinion, put your phone or work away to show them you’re listening.