Supporting Dewey’s Read-a-thon: How to Turn A Book-Chewing Baby into a Book-Devouring Toddler!
In honor of Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, which is taking place today, I thought I would write a
little post about turning toddlers into book lovers!
a disclaimer: I’m not a teacher or an expert in early childhood education. As
an only child, I’m not even someone who has tons of experience with children.
I’m just a writer, reader and mom of P., age 3 and a half.
loves books. As a baby, she would devour them – literally. But enough jokes. As
someone who believes that the key to education is a book, I knew right from the
start that offering my child the love of reading would be one of the best gifts
ever. But how?
pianist once said to me, if you want your child to play the piano, she has to
see you playing the piano or enjoying piano music. If the parent has no
interest whatsoever in the subject, the child likely won’t be drawn to it
either. (Of course, there are always exceptions.) In our case, I didn’t have to
make an effort to apply this advice to reading. Right from the start, P. saw my
husband and me reading, and we read to her before she could even understand the
result? The chewing on books evolved into pointing at pictures in them. And
that evolved into a real interest in the stories.
add a bit more creativity to our routine, I thought back to my childhood. My
grandfather and mother were both amazing storytellers. Grandpa created the
mischievous little character of Herbie. Each time Grandpa told me a story, it
was an original with Herbie involved in some new adventure. And Mom made up a
story that I insisted on hearing over and over: It was about my dog going to a
store to buy me a party dress for my birthday!
couple of months ago, I started telling P. stories about her stuffed animals embarking
on silly adventures. Each story involved P. as one of the characters. Needless
to say, P. loves this sort of story time. A few days ago, I tried something
new. I asked P. to tell me a story about one of her stuffed animals. And she
did! We now take turns telling each other stories.
other ways of keeping books and stories alive and exciting are involving them
in our daily lives. If we go to the pool, for instance, I might say: “We’re
going swimming just like Maisy!” (reference to the “Maisy” books by Lucy
tried my best to make books and reading fun (because I truly think they are!)
and it seems to have worked, at least so far. I’ve never pressured P. into
picking up a book and she enjoys various toys and games too. But she always
comes back to the books. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
more information on Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon or to support the participating
readers, click here!