Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

We love reading with our kids and read together with them whenever we can. But is there more we can be doing to encourage a love of reading as our kids grow?

Dr. Nathan Chomilo

Dr. Nathan Chomilo is a respected Twin Cities pediatrician and internist. He is an outspoken equity advocate whose work has included championing the impact early childhood intervention and healthcare access have on the long-term prospects of children and how physicians and health systems can address racial and health equity. He is also the medical director for the State of Minnesota Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Minority Health, Equity and Inclusion’s Executive Committee and serves on the board of directors of Reach Out and Read MN and Reach Out and Read National.


Dr. Nathan Chomilo: Every child has their own unique spectrum of interests. Our job as parents is to encourage and reinforce those interests that we know will help our kids develop lifelong passions and opportunities. When we think about encouraging a love of reading, we have to think about our own screen use. How are we balancing screen time with books, family and other priorities? Kids really do pay attention to what we do. So if we say, “read, read, read,” but we’re on our phones, their reading time feels more like a punishment. 

Try introducing screen-free times when not only the child is reading a book, but everyone in the family is off devices and is reading. That’s one way to pass on the love of literature. And talk about the books you’re reading. Have conversations about them. As a self-avowed comic book nerd, don’t be afraid of comics and graphic stories. When I delved into the research on literacy, I was happy to see that comics can be a gateway to more reading not just because of the bright images and the art, but because of how they use language and expose kids to words in new contexts.

So, balance reading with screen time and other activities, join them in reading time and have conversations about what you’re both reading.

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