Raising a Reader

Creative ways to get your child hooked on books.
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Reading aloud to your kids is one way to foster a love of books, but there are more creative ways to introduce them to the wonder of words than settling down with a bedtime story each evening. Try these ideas from Kathy A. Zahler, author of 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read (Arco, 1997):

Make reading come alive. Was your child intrigued by the elephants at the zoo, or by an exhibit at the science museum? Then find related books that feed his or her curiosity.

Make reading entertaining. Watch for scheduled readings by children's authors at local bookstores, and take your child. Also show your kids that sharing what they read can be fun. Have your child choose a scene from a play or book, then act it out together; encourage her to read a funny comic strip aloud.

Make reading accessible. Establish a cozy place for reading in your home, and reward good deeds with books, comics or magazines instead of candy or money. Also, give your child a subscription to a magazine edited for kids -- there are many terrific ones.


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