I don’t think there is anything more iconic than the bedtime story routine. A pajama-clad tyke snuggles into bed while a more drowsy parent reads {insert child’s favorite book title here} for the upteenth time in a month. Book closes and a little voice asks “one more?” I’m usually a total sucker for this one. Doesn’t matter if I’m virtually using toothpicks to keep my eyes open, I always fall for the too-cute “one more story” request.

Sure, it’s a ploy to put off bedtime just a wee bit longer; but the other truth is that we — kids included — all love a good story. So in celebration of International Children’s Book Day today, I’m sharing ten ideas for fostering your child’s love of reading.

Make Your Own Children’s Book — Together!
Remember those construction paper-crayon-and-stapled ‘self-published’ books you made in second grade? Make one with your child! It doesn’t matter whether your kiddo can read or write themselves yet; showing them that their stories matter is the first step to encouraging a love of writing and reading. Allow your child to dictate the story to you as you write it down (one to three sentences per piece of paper) and then have them illustrate it. Decorate a cover, staple and viola! — parent/child-published masterpiece.

Read Your Favorite Children’s Book to Your Child
This is a super-simple way to score some snuggle time. Find one of your childhood favs and read it to your child. Be sure to start with “I remember when Grandma used to read me this and…”

Visit Your Local Library or Bookstore
If you don’t frequent your local book dwelling with your mini-me in tow, now is a great time to start. Make a big deal out of the trip: go on a search for that evening’s perfect bedtime story, pick out a book for a friend, or simply browse for books that start with the first letter of your child’s name.

Go on a Story Adventure
If your child is like mine, there is at least one book on the shelf that continually reappears at bedtime. You can probably read it with your eyes closed. So surprise your kiddo with a field-trip related to the book! For example, Fancy Nancy lovers might go to a nail salon for a mini-manicure. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site fans might visit the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Does your kid love Meet Einstein? Head to the Science Center!

Start a Book Journal
One of the best ways to foster a child’s love of reading is to help him or her reflect on what they are reading (it’s a great way to build comprehension skills, too!). Dig out a spiral notebook, have your kiddo decorate the cover and make it a book journal. When you read a new book, put the title of the book on the top of the page and have your child write something about it. Anything. Prompt them with open-ended questions like “What was your favorite part of the book?” or “What did you think about…?” If you have a younger child, write the sentences for them and let them illustrate themselves.

Host a Family Book (or Story) Club
Leading by example is a great way to create a healthy reading culture in your home. Pick one night a week to talk about the books — both real and virtual — you are reading at dinner. Don’t need to all read the same book if you don’t want to; just provide an opportunity to share. (Note: Discussing Pride and Prejudice with your three-year-old is not exactly advised. Might want to adjust your story selection for audience appropriateness…)

Create a Cozy Book Nook
Do you really need an excuse to decorate? Find a corner somewhere in your house and make a book nook. {We’ve got some fun reading nook ideas on Pinterest!} One of my fav ideas for a kid-friendly nook is an indoor teepee… If only we had the space!

Book-Themed Play Date
This is where Pinterest simultaneously becomes your best friend and your enemy. Search the boards for your child’s favorite book or a book you’re reading to find craft and snack ideas. Then invite his or her bff over for an afternoon of story fun. Here’s an idea for a Very Hungry Caterpillar play date.

Learn About the Author
Oftentimes we forget that someone had the creative idea to write the stories we love. Learning about the author is a perfect way to google together.

Go On a Book Shelf Scavenger Hunt
A book scavenger hunt is a great way to have your child rediscover his or her own library (and maybe lose temporary interest in that book you’ve read at bedtime every night for the past 10 days — yeah, you know, the one that makes you start to twitch when your child pulls it off the shelf). Come up with 5-10 book-related prompts such as “Find a book about insects” or “Find a story that makes you happy.” Make a stack and read together!

Have other ideas? Would LOVE to hear them!