There are so many ways to help your child develop good literacy habits—and they may be simpler than you think. For National Reading Month, here are three easy ways to build a reader in your child.

Talk to your kids.

(I told you this would be easy.) Seriously though, immerse your children in conversation from the very second they are born. Even if you feel totally crazy train, their brains will thank you. Talk to them about every single thing that you are doing; they are doing, the birds, their toes… anything at all!

Reading out loud to your children is the single best way to make them better readers.

When you read to your kids, you are exposing them to new vocabulary words and grammar patterns. Reading is not only a fun way to spend time together but a way to help your kids develop into more fluent, successful readers.

Find a text that you both can relate to and use it as a gateway for meaningful conversation. Encourage them to make connections to books and to practice empathizing with characters. Listen to them read aloud to you, and help them out when they need it. They will look forward to spending that time with you each day.

Have them tell you a story.

It can be short and simple. Write down whatever they tell you I like to keep in in a journal. Go back and reread it with them! Even the youngest kids will start to memorize sight words this way. You can also make it into a game! We love to play “story go-round” in my house. One person starts the story and everyone takes turns adding to it. You can change the rules however they work for you.

You can build a reader in just a few minutes before bed or 10 minutes before dinner time—really, anytime! You can build a lifelong reader by making reading a part of your routine. It won’t take long and it will help your kids develop a healthy habit that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.