Remember the very first time you opened up a book and went on an adventure? There’s nothing quite like journeying to a brave new world inside of your imagination and meeting fascinating characters along the way. The people and places we discover in stories stick with us long after we’re finished reading them—sometimes for a lifetime.
As parents, we want our kids to have the same experience of falling in love with storytelling. Even when there are gadgets and gizmos a-plenty pulling your child’s attention in different directions, you can inspire your little one to pick up a book that calls to them.
On National Read a Book Day, we invite you to celebrate the joy of reading with your child and explore how reading for fun can help them develop strong learning habits.
What We Can Learn From National Read a Book Day
We celebrate National Read a Book Day on September 6th each year because reading is important for people of all ages, especially for young children with developing minds. Reading for fun expands our imagination, vocabulary, and empathy, and it can help your child perform better on tests.
This annual celebration of reading is a great opportunity for your family to build a habit that is joyful, timeless, and educational. As your child explores the pages of their favorite books, they will discover what the magic that reading has to offer.
Reading and Writing Make a Great Team
Reading isn’t just about enjoying stories—it’s an awesome way to inspire young writers. When your child reads, they come across new words that strengthen their communication skills. They will also discover how their favorite authors use language to create vivid pictures in their minds.
Remind your kids that even the greatest authors were young writers picking up their first books once upon a time, and that the possibilities are endless. Your little reader can become a little author, so encourage them to write their own stories inspired by the books they read.
You can introduce writing prompts that spark your child’s imagination, such as:
- What kind of characters would be in your story?
- What sort of adventures would your characters go on?
- Is their world different from our world? How?
The more your child embraces reading, the more confident they will become with their words and thoughts, in and out of class.
Encourage Healthy Habits: Find the Perfect Balance Between Screen Time and Book Time
While we all love our smartphones, tablets, and game consoles, reading is a special friend that never goes out of style. It’s like having a superpower that lets you escape into different worlds, learn amazing facts, and dream big dreams. And while National Read a Book Day only comes once a year, the practice of reading is something your family can turn into a daily habit.
We shouldn’t discourage technology usage altogether but should instead inspire our children to pick up a book whenever they want to be entertained—especially in the evening. Too much screen time before bed can be too stimulating and make it harder to fall asleep. But books are a great alternative for winding down at night.
Parents, let’s balance our children’s screen time with some reading time, and build healthy habits that last a lifetime! Consider giving your child a half-hour of screen time for every hour they read, and you will be amazed at how many pages they thumb through. They might just forget about the screen.
How to Get Your Kids Excited About Reading
We know that many kids don’t immediately reach for a book in their spare time. But with a little inspiration and encouragement, you can show your kids just how fun and imaginative books can be.
- Ask your kids what they want to learn or read about. Whether it’s dragons and magic, space adventures, historical mysteries, or tales from different cultures, there is something to be learned from many types of literature and all walks of life, no matter the genre.
- Visit a local library or bookstore. Going to the library or a bookstore and letting your child pick out a book is a great way to encourage their individuality and get them excited to read. It’s also a great way to support local businesses.
- Create a cozy reading spot. Set up a reading nook with comfy pillows and blankets that invite everyone to settle into their imaginations.
- Set aside some time to read together as a family. When you read aloud together, it becomes a shared experience, and even more special.
- Let your kids see you enjoying books. If they see you having fun, then they are more likely to give reading a real chance.
- Share your thoughts and feelings. Tell your kid about the stories you’re reading and ask about their ideas regarding their book of choice.
- Start friendly competitions. Let everyone win different prizes based on reading a certain number of books.
The more your kids connect with stories—and the storytelling experience—the more excited they’ll be to read!
Local Libraries to Support During National Read a Book Day—and Beyond
Local libraries provide valuable resources and services for families just like yours. They can help you encourage healthy reading habits at home by providing an epic selection of paperbacks and hardcovers.
If you haven’t done so already, register your child for a library card to unlock a world of books. With a library card, they can search the shelves at their local library to discover the genres and stories that pique their interests. You can even check out books online ahead of time and simply pick them up at the location of your choice.
Some local libraries to support in your area might include:
- Longview Public Library: 222 W Cotton St, Longview, TX 75601
- Tyler Public Library: 201 S College Ave, Tyler, TX 75702
- Galveston/Rosenberg Library: 2310 Sealy Ave, Galveston, TX 77550
Reading Books Can Unite Us
Some of our favorite role models are the characters we discover in literature. They inspire us to make the most out of our lives, to think brightly about our future, and to see the world and each other in new ways.
Reading allows us to be whatever we want and provides a launching pad for the most fantastical adventures. Much like a video game in which we choose our favorite players and live through their experiences, show your child that they can be anything they want to be through reading, and that books are their friends.
Reading will bring your family closer together, enrich your child’s life, and help them feel more connected to the world around them. Now, let’s choose one of our favorite stories and embark on an adventure together!
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