March 11, 2015

Instilling a Love of Reading in Babies and Toddlers

In our house, reading is very important. There are multiple bookcases of books. Actually, there are also boxes upon boxes of books as we don't even have room to have them all out. I started M2's and B's book collections before they were even born. Reading to kids from the time they are little is so important. It builds a life-long love of learning and books while helping with language and teaching important lessons along the way. Parent/child bonding also happens. Plus, it's just plain fun.
A New, Free Book -- Monthly
When we moved almost two years ago, I discovered a really great program while visiting the local library: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Each month from birth until age 5, children receive a free book in the mail. To make the child feel even more special, there's even a label on each that says, "A special gift for (child's name)." M2 has gotten some great books this way. The books the kids get are based around his/her current development level. The back flap of each book even includes tips for parents on how to increase the learning aspects in the book. A few have been duds, but for the most part the books are awesome. The program exposes kids to all kinds of books that their parents might otherwise not know about, or even have access to.

M2 loves getting her new book from the book lady (what we call Dolly Parton) every month. She feels really important getting mail and loves the stories. Another plus of the program is that the books are not gender-specific. Boys may get books involving tea parties and girls may get books about trucks. In fact, M2 did get a book about trucks--it is her current favorite. She hadn't had much exposure to trucks so it opened up a new world for her. Another favorite of hers is one involving counting and common irregular plural nouns. I wish we'd been able to sign her up for the program sooner as she missed the first year.

For more info and to see if you live in an area that is partnered with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (not all counties are) check out the website. Once you sign up, your child finds his/her first new book in the mailbox in about six to eight weeks.

*Image by Sicha Pongjivanich and
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  1. I always read to my kids when they were little. Now I love reading to my grandson. That's a great program you share and the book sounds like a great read for kids. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have a life long love of books that I believe comes from learning to read and going to library regularly since I was very little. Interesting to hear about Dolly Parton's book program.

  3. Introducing reading at a young age is so important. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love reading with my girls! Books are integral to all parts of life- from understanding words to understanding emotion and imagination!

  5. I love That there ia a program like this. Reading is so great to teach kids.

  6. These sorts of options help to keep reading fun and a priority.

  7. When my two kids go in there bed I still have read them a story and that was sweet right.

  8. We read books together when my kids were young and they are still readers. It works.


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