We often hear about the importance of early literacy. “Reading” to children at a young age has long term benefits. Have you ever been frustrated trying to actually read the words of a book to a small child? They want to flip the pages and get easily distracted. The child runs off and we get discouraged. Is it even worth our time? The answer is yes. Reading books to small children is worth the time, and yes, it is important. Children have short attention spans, and “reading” is in quotation marks above on purpose. Children like to look at pictures. They especially like to look at pictures of themselves and their own things. Our world is so electronic and digital, and we do not often have printed pictures. My number one tip to helping children learn to love books is to make a picture book of their things. Take some quick photos with your phone or camera, upload to your favorite print shop, put pictures in cheap dollar plastic albums, and “read” with them. Since there are no words on the pages, look at the pictures and talk about them. You can even go around the house and find the actual objects. Pretty soon, you will notice your child likes to look at books with you which translates to more reading later on down the road. It works well for older children too. Simply add words to the pages.