National Reading Month Challenge: Building a Love for Reading

In honor of National Reading Month, we’ve partnered with bilingual book creator, Binibi, whose bilingual books for kids you can find on our site. This month, we’re bringing you some reading prompts filled with tips and activities to help you get into the habit of reading with your child every day.  This challenge will focus on both monolingual and bilingual readers and will help you form a strong, confident reader while also strengthening your child’s language skills!

mother reads to child sitting on her lap in nursery

Reading Prompt #1: Start setting the stage for good reading habits and pick out 3 books you can read every day. Choose topics that interest your child, and if you’re teaching your child a second language, choose books with words you’ll want your child to learn. You can read all of the books at once or spread them out throughout the day. For example, you can read two books during playtime and one at bedtime. Continue this practice daily, incorporating different types of books. Children love repetition, and as they get accustomed to the books, they will have fun focusing on different things each time.

Reading Prompt #2: Focus on making time for “pressure-free” reading where your child can interact with the book however he or she pleases, even if this means hardly reading at all! Let your child take the lead and explore a favorite book, staying on a page for as long as he or she wants or playing with the book and landing on whatever page most interests them.

Reading Prompt #3: Start taking the reading experience a step further and engage in a dialogue with your child every time you sit down to read. Take the conversation beyond the words in the books and discuss illustrations, characters, events, and even relate the story to your child’s own experiences. This practice is especially important when you’re introducing a second language and reading a bilingual children’s book since children learn language best through everyday interactions and exposure. Continue this practice throughout the month to really make the most of National Reading Month!

Reading Prompt #4: It’s time to take the reading experience outside of your home! Find activities where your child can associate words or concepts he or she has learned in a book and relate them to real life to give them more context. Choose topics and activities that interest your little one and take the books with you to point out similarities and help make a correlation for context. For language development, whether it’s English or another target language, this activity helps cement the definition of new words in children’s minds. For example, if you have Binibi’s La Granja sound books, you can take them with you on your next adventures to the beach or farm to continue to expose your child to Spanish words!

cover of La Granaj book with barn and cow

Reading Prompt #5: Using books your child is now familiar with, incorporate games into the reading experience that will encourage him or her to think while also developing language skills. This can be done in so many different ways! Here are some of our favorite ways to challenge your little one in a fun, engaging way while reading: 

  • Asking him or her to identify the colors, characters or actions in illustrations.
  • Play a game of “I Spy” where you challenge your child to find elements in an image.
  • As you read, let your child complete sentences or phrases for you with familiar words. The same can be done for songs in musical books. 
  • Have your child draw or outline images in a book as you discuss them and repeat new words.

For those reading bilingually, these games are the perfect opportunity to use new words in the target language.

Reading Prompt #6: Since we’re now halfway through our prompts, this is the perfect time to rotate your child’s book selection and bring out new books that may have been buried in the pile of forgotten books, making them more visible to your child. If your child can clearly see new titles, he or she will be more likely to pull them during reading time which opens the door for you to introduce new words, topics and ideas. Not to mention, it keeps reading time exciting!

chidl sits on floor in nursery, reading a book by herself

Reading Prompt #7: By this point, your child has probably already read certain books they love over and over again. For families introducing a second language, this is the perfect time to read books your child is familiar with in the target language. Since your child is already acquainted with the books in the stronger language, it will be easier for him or her to learn new words in another language. So, take advantage of your child’s love for specific books to continue reading them with a language twist! Binibi’s bilingual books for babies and toddlers are ideal for parents introducing Spanish as they can first read them in English with their little ones and eventually transition to Spanish.

Reading Prompt #8: Reverse the roles! If your child is old enough, have your child read their favorite books back to you rather than the other way around. Besides being adorable and fun for parents to listen to, this also stimulates children’s imaginations, makes them feel important and gets them practicing new vocabulary that they’ve heard before. Even if their interpretation of the book is completely different, follow along and ask them questions along the way to get them to dive deeper into the story.

Reading Prompt #9: Although this can be done at any time, use the next few days to make an extra effort to involve others in your child’s reading experiencesiblings, family members, babysitters and others to participate in reading with your child. This keeps reading fun and interesting for your child and exposes them to other conversations and ideas that another reader can bring to the table. For those introducing a second language, this is also a great time to get other speakers of the target language involved to further expose your child and show him or her how “cool” the language can be.

four binibi books laid out together on mat with crayons around them

Reading Prompt #10: As the month comes to an end, use the opportunity to end your reading sessions on a high note and animate the reading experience whenever possible. Pair your reading with hand gestures and facial expressions or make funny sound effects as you read such as animal noises, blowing raspberries, tongue-clicking and sound effects that grab your child’s attention. Your child may even try to imitate you! Interactive sound books, like Binibi’s children’s sound books, make it easy to interact with your child and implement this tip as you imitate animal sounds or dance along to popular nursery rhymes.

We hope you and your child enjoyed our tips for achieving a successful and exciting reading experience and encourage you to continue practicing them beyond National Reading Month to build a strong reading foundation that will benefit your child in the future!

Binibi makes bilingual sound books for children ages 0-5. Our collection of interactive musical and sound books are made with high-quality sounds and imagery designed for parents to have an easy way to introduce Spanish at home. Binibi was founded by two latina moms in 2020, seeking to fill the gap in bilingual products for children and provide parents with resources to support their bilingual parenting journey.

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