“6 by 6: Ready to Read” is a statewide library program that emphasizes the six skills that parents and caregivers can help children develop by the age of six so they are ready to learn to read.  We will periodically be posting about these six different skills here on our blog.

The first skill is Have Fun with Books.  Kids just want to have FUN, and if we want them to learn to read, we need to make books and reading fun.  Children who enjoy books and are interested in them will naturally want to learn to read!  Educators and researchers use the term print motivation to describe this area of early literacy.  The fact is, if children associate reading with negative feelings, their motivation to read is diminished.  So find the right time when you and your children are in the mood and enjoy reading together.

Here are some suggestions for developing this skill in your child:

  • Get a free library card and visit the library regularly.  Let children help you select books.  Find out where the library keeps easy information books, including alphabet and number books.
  • Have pretend reading sessions.  Get picture books with little or no text and ask children to read to you.
  • Take books wherever you go.  Take them to the doctor’s office, in the car, at the grocery store, in the park, etc.
  • Watch children as they play and let them see you writing about them and what they’re doing.  Create a book they can read about themselves and include a photograph of them.
  • Check out books which encourage searching for objects in the illustrations.
  • Involve children in reading as much as possible.  Have them say a repeated phrase with you throughout a book as you read aloud.  Being an active participant makes it more fun!

Help your children “have fun with books” and get them started on the path to reading.