March is “National Reading Month”. We love to read at the Museum all year long, but we’re excited to give it some attention this month. One of the ways we encourage our guests to read while they are here is through the descriptions within some of the exhibits. Reading them aloud to children or encouraging older ones to read them on their own is an easy way to incorporate some reading into your experience. The plaques at exhibits not only thank the donors who contributed, but explain the opportunity, which enriches the experience. We hope you’ll engage with the Museum in this way on your next visit.
There are many interesting facts about “National Reading Month”. Here are a few:
- “National Reading Month” was established in 1997 by the National Education Association (NEA) to promote reading and encourage children to become lifelong readers.
- “National Reading Month” is celebrated in March because it coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss, a beloved children’s author.
- The NEA estimates that approximately 45 million children and adults participate in “National Reading Month” each year.
- The NEA recommends that children read for at least 20 minutes each day during “National Reading Month” and beyond.
- Many schools and libraries organize events and activities during “National Reading Month”, such as book fairs, read-a-thons, and author visits. Do a local search to find some events in your area!
- Reading has been shown to have numerous benefits for children, including improved cognitive development, increased empathy and social skills, and better academic performance.
- According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, children who are read to at home are more likely to perform well in school and develop a lifelong love of reading.
- Reading is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation, making it a great activity for both children and adults.
- Many famous authors credit their love of reading as the foundation for their success as writers.
- “National Reading Month” is a great opportunity for caregivers to bond with the children in their care and create positive memories that will last a lifetime.
Reading is a fundamental skill that children need to develop to succeed in school and life. As a caregiver, you play a vital role in helping young children develop a love of reading. Let’s explore some tips and strategies to help you encourage a lifelong love of reading in the children you care for.
Make Reading a Daily Habit
One of the most effective ways to encourage children to read is to make it a daily habit. Carve out time each day to read with your child, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This routine will help your child associate reading with pleasure and relaxation. You could also try incorporating reading into other parts of your day. For example, you could read books during mealtime or bath time. This will not only help your child develop their literacy skills but also create positive associations with reading.
Choose the Right Books
Choosing the right books is critical in developing a love of reading. You want to select books that are age-appropriate, engaging, and interesting to your child. Consider your child’s interests, hobbies, and personality when selecting books. Do they love animals, sports, or princesses? Look for books that incorporate those themes. You could also let your child choose books from the library or bookstore. Children are more likely to read books that they have selected themselves.
Reading aloud is an excellent way to engage children and encourage them to read. Young children love to be read to, and it’s an opportunity for you to model good reading habits. You could take turns reading pages or chapters, or you could read a book and ask your child questions about the story. Reading aloud helps children develop their vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills. It also helps them develop a love of reading by exposing them to different types of stories and books.
Create a Reading Nook
Creating a designated reading space in your home can encourage children to read. A cozy corner with comfortable seating, good lighting, and a few favorite books can make reading time more inviting and enjoyable. You could also add some decorative touches like a fun rug or wall art. This will make the reading nook feel special and exciting. Encourage your child to use the reading nook whenever they want to read or look at books.
Make Reading Fun
Reading doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it should be a fun and enjoyable activity. You could try incorporating games, puzzles, or crafts into reading time. For example, you could make puppets and act out scenes from a story, or you could create a scavenger hunt based on the books you’ve read. Making reading fun will help your child develop a positive attitude toward reading and encourage them to read more.
Join a Book Club
Joining a book club can be a fun way to encourage your child to read. Book clubs provide an opportunity to discuss books and share opinions with other readers. You could start a book club with other caregivers and their children or look for existing book clubs in your community. Many libraries and bookstores have book clubs for children. Joining a book club can help your child develop their social skills and build friendships around a shared love of reading.
Reading is a life skill and a great hobby! Let’s celebrate all month long by finding new ways to read, both here at the Museum and at home.