Importance of Literature for Children: Our trip to the Library

We recently visited my daughter’s favorite place (besides Chuck E. Cheese), the library! We have two about the same distance from our house so we usually alternate visits depending on what activities they have going on. On this day there were no special activities at either library, we just happened to be closer to one and wanted to go in for a good book and a couple of DVDs for my daughter, Naty.
As we entered Naty headed straight to…can you guess? Of course, the children’s area! This girl can’t even read yet but gathers so many books I can’t even carry them all myself, and the 75 book limit doesn’t help much. And I sure don’t want to deprive her of all those fun-filled books, I’m very happy and proud that my child takes interest in books at a young age. I’ve read to her since way back when she was in my belly, and been taking her to the library since she was only a few months old to let her listen to stories, activities, play dates there’s just so much you can do to help develop an interest for books in your child.
On our last visit we discovered these amazing learning kits called FLIP kits which stands for Family Literacy Involvement Program. They were developed by the Children’s Museum of Houston to help promote early literacy activity between children ages 0m-8yr or infant-3rd grade. The kits come in various languages including Chinese, Vietnamese and the ones at my library have English and Spanish and even some bilingual, which is great for us because we usually start a sentence in Spanish and end it in English..yes we speak Spanglish. I used to worry about the negative effect it would bring to my daughter’s social skills, but found it was very easy and helpful for her to learn both languages at the same time. 
Both Naty and I fell in love with these kits they’re so fun, we usually take 2-3 at a time. Each kit carries a short story book easy for the child to understand full of colorful illustrations, and either small toys, craft supplies, or flash cards for family activities related to the story to help develop child’s comprehension skills. It encourages kids to ask questions and helps both kids and parents be more hands on with reading. They carry a wide variety of subject’s like creative arts, language, math, science, sense of self. This fall Naty starts preschool so I am trying to do as many as we can.

The best part of these kits is that children get rewarded for learning, each kit comes with a survey for parents to fill out and turn it. You basically give them feedback on your experience with the kit. Then the librarian hands out a free admission to the Children’s Museum. This truly is a great program. I love seeing my daughter so excited every time we check out a different FLIP kit, she knows that with each kit there’s new adventures and ton’s of fun coming her way. If you have these kits available in your local library I highly recommend them for your child it’s a great way to build a love for literacy!
How do you help your child take interest in reading?

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