By Kathryn Trudeau
Every year, we celebrate the birth of Dr. Seuss by celebrating Reading Across America Day. Dr. Seuss was concerned about the number of children struggling to read, and this concern inspired him to write Cat in the Hat and a variety of other beginner books. To this day, his beloved rhymes and rhythms delight and amuse children. Not to mention, his books teach important lessons as seen in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax, and Horton Hears a Who.
Reading Across America Day is designed to help encourage children to read and help them foster a love of reading.
In this blog, we are sharing our best tips to inspire your children to foster a love of reading.
Inspiring Your Child to Read More
But how do you start to inspire your children to read on their own? Here are three ways to inspire your child to read on their own:
As parents, we’ve likely been reading to our kids since they were babies. Reading to your children:
- Helps to grow their vocabulary
- Helps to promote emotional intelligence and empathy
- Enhances concentration and discipline
- Provides an opportunity to teach cultural understandings
- Stimulates their imagination
- Promotes a nurturing bond between parent and child
Reading on their own continues to build their confidence, teach them about the world, and support higher academic performance.
Make books accessible
The best way to encourage reading is to set the stage for reading. Make sure books are easily accessible for children of all ages. For babies and toddlers, provide plenty of board books or soft cloth books for playtime. As children get older, stock their bookshelves with books on their favorite topics. Whether that’s books on cats, robots, cars, animals, or sports, it’s easier to keep your child’s attention when the books feature their favorite things.
Get caught reading
Children imitate the actions of parents, and when it comes to reading, that’s no exception. Let your children know that they also read for fun. Talk about your favorite things to read, whether that’s novels, magazines, or non-fiction books
4 Ways to Celebrate Reading Across America Day
Now that we’ve covered three ways to inspire your child to read more, let’s talk about four ways to celebrate this year’s Reading Across America Day.
1. Read a Dr. Seuss book
What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday than to read one of his books? Some of the most popular are:
After reading some of these books, you can pair it with a Dr. Seuss-inspired craft. You can print off coloring pages or make your favorite Dr. Seuss character out of construction paper.
2. Take a trip the to library
Need a few new books to add to your nightly rotation of bedtime books? Plan a trip to the library. Maybe you stock up on Dr. Seuss’ books or maybe you explore a new genre altogether. Encourage your child to pick out a few books that appeal to him or her.
3. Allow for extra reading time at bedtime
Make your bedtime stories extra fun tonight! Here are a few ways to make tonight’s bedtime stories even more magical:
- Gather up your flashlights and read in a tent (inside your house)
- Take turns reading in funny voices
- Ask your child to act out the story while you read it
- Focus on a theme (e.g., all animal stories, firefighter stories, etc.)
Grab your jammies and snuggle up!
4. Make a few recipes from your child’s favorite books
Create a few recipes from your child’s favorite recipe and nibble the foods while you read together:
- Read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie while eating chocolate chip cookies
- Eat orange marmalade on toast while reading Paddington
- Eat green eggs (add green food dye to deviled eggs) and ham while reading Green Eggs and Ham
- Reading Alexander and the Terrible No Good Day? Make jelly rolls
- Try a Turkish Delight while reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Eat madeleines while reading Madeline or Fancy Nancy Beginner Readers
- Plan a big spaghetti dinner and read Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
The options are endless! My children love this activity because it brings their books to life.
How Will You Celebrate Reading Across America Day?
Which activities will you try today?