Discovery Point Blog
Building Your Child’s Reading Library
The practice of reading in and of itself isn’t the only thing that’s crucial to your child’s language and literacy skills. It is also important to ensure they are surrounded by and have access to books – not only at school and in the library but also at home. When you have a rich library of children’s books to choose from at home, your child will be more likely to pick them up and develop a love of reading.
As essential as it is to have a home library, it’s also easier said than done. Children’s books can be expensive, and figuring out which ones your child will take to is time-consuming. We’ve collected a few tips to help you get started and make the process of starting and then adding to your child’s reading library fun rather than stressful.
Start with a Designated Space
If you’re dedicated to filling your home with books, finding a specific space for them to live is the first place to start. If possible, choose a spot that also doubles as a reading area, such as:
- A bookshelf and chair in a cozy corner
- A beanbag and decorated packing crate
- A colorful ladder where books can be stacked next to your child’s bed
Don’t feel like you have to buy new books in order to start building a library. Thrift stores often have huge collections of children’s books, as do retail stores dedicated to pre-owned books. In addition, check your local Freecycle group to see if families with older children are ready to make room for new books by donating those geared toward younger readers.
While keeping your eye out for second-hand books can help you save money, you may feel like some of the copies you acquire need a pick-me-up. If you want to add some freshness to a used book and help your child gain a feeling of ownership over their collection, try downloading and printing personalized “This book belongs to…” bookplates to insert into the front covers.
Start a Kid’s Book Club
Book clubs are popular among adults, but there’s no reason why children can’t enjoy them as well. See if any parents of your child’s friends would be interested in getting together as a group to make reading a priority.
During each book club get-together, each child can bring in their favorite book of the moment to share, and parents can take turns reading them out loud. Children can also bring in a couple of older favorites that they’re willing to share with friends. That way, everyone gets to swap books and take something new home.
Bring Some Order to the Bookshelf
Aim to keep the books arranged in a certain order. It could be by color, topic, type of book, or alphabetical order, depending on your child’s skill level and preferences. With this strategy, they’ll always know where to find the books they’re looking for.
Get Your Child Involved
Focus on acquiring the books that captivate your child’s interest, whether that’s because they enjoy the illustrations or are fascinated by the subject matter. It’s important that they are able to fill their collection with things they actually look forward to reading, not necessarily books they are “supposed” to read.
When your reading library becomes a part of your family’s life and living environment, your child will find the act of reading to be easier and more enjoyable. With even a small collection of much-loved literary works always on hand, you can help your child find a love for literature that lasts.