Building a home library for your young child

Children need to own their own books; book ownership is a huge factor in reading enthusiasm and achievement in your young child. One way to increase your child’s access to books is by building your child’s library in your home.

One way to increase your child’s access to books is by building your child’s library in your home. Photo by jppi at Morguefile.com

One way to increase your child’s access to books is by building your child’s library in your home. Photo by jppi at Morguefile.com

Book ownership is a huge factor in reading enthusiasm and achievement in your young child. Children need to own their own books so that they can put their name inside and don’t have to share with siblings. As your child gets older he or she should be able to mark up books by writing, highlighting and earmarking pages. This process will allow children to learn new words, come back to the pages that grab their interest, and make the reading experience completely their own.

One way to increase your child’s access to books is by building your child’s library in your home. The more books children own, the more they read and the more comfortable they feel choosing books away from home.  Building your young child’s library doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Thanks to local libraries, used bookstores, book swapping clubs, and the Salvation Army, developing a library for your child can be a reasonable undertaking. You can also give books to your child as presents for birthdays and holidays and encourage relatives to do the same. While building your young child’s library you should encourage reading and work to make it a fun and available part of your family culture so that a book will be hard for your child to turn down.   

North Carolina University Cooperative Extensions suggest that parents should also be good role models for their children by taking good care of your books and sharing their personal enjoyment of a good book.

Michigan State University Extension recommends adding the following children’s classics to your child’s library.

  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  • The Carrot Seed  by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
  • The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, George Hauman, and Doris hauman
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

For additional information about building your child’s library visit eXtension.

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