Do you remember sitting on a loved one's lap listening to a story? Whether it was at home or at school, I've always enjoyed listening to others read me a story.
When should you start reading to your child?
Right away! Some even suggest reading to your child while they are still in the womb. Of course little babies will not understand all the words, but there are great benefits from doing so.
Reading with your young child:
- Creates a bond between parent and child
- Familiarizes the baby with words, sounds, pictures
- Builds the child's vocabulary
- Encourages imagination
- Stimulates an interest in sounds and enhances listening skills
- Improves communication skills
- Helps children enjoy reading later in life
I know a family where all of the children have started reading books before attending kindergarten. How do they do it? One of the reasons is that reading is a huge part of their family. When the children were very young, their parents constantly read to them, and soon the older siblings took on the role of reading to the younger ones.
Here are some suggestions on how to improve your reading time with your baby:
- Read short stories (babies don't have very long attention spans)
- Simplify the story (you don't have to read word for word, but can keep it simple, using fewer words)
- Be enthusiastic (fluctuate your voice and show some emotion)
- Use board books to decrease book damage (most babies love to touch)
- Make your own books or stories using photo albums or pictures of the family
- Read books with bright colors and lots of pictures
Be the one to read to your children. It takes time and patience, but these few minutes spent reading with your baby can make all the difference.
What are some of your favorite books to read to your children?