You have probably heard that reading to your children is important. But do you know how important?
Well, reading not only is it a great way to stimulate language and cognitive skills, but it also helps develop curiosity, imagination, and memory. It also helps develop their listening skills, which will be important when they start school.
Research has shown that infants who hear more words will have a greater vocabulary as a preschooler. What better way to share more words with your child than spending time with them reading!? This will help them to associate reading as a positive, happy thing when they are older.
Make reading a priority in your home, make it fun and positive, and help nurture your relationship with your child and their relationship with reading and learning for life! Here are a few tips to think about as you read with your child:
1. Start when they are babies! Start even before they can talk and before you think they will be interested. Reading aloud to your baby helps them learn about communication and builds listening, memory and vocabulary skills.
2. Read with them EVERY day. Make it part of your routine. This will show your child that reading is important, but snuggling up with a good book is also a great way to show that spending time together is important too!
3. Fill your house with books. Have a wide variety of books available. I know books can be expensive, but you can find gently used books at yard sales or thrift stores.
4. Ask questions as you read. Ask what they think will happen next, ask how they think the character in the book feels, ask what they would do in a situation in the book. Give them plenty of opportunities to use their critical thinking skills.
5. Point out new vocabulary. If you read a word that is new to your child, tell them what it means. Reading is a great way to build vocabulary.
6. When you’re done reading, talk about the book. This will help develop understanding and memory skills.
7. Use fun voices while reading. Books don’t have to be boring, don’t make them that way! Children love to hear the story told with some feeling. You might feel weird, but your child will love it.
8. Let them pick out their own books to read. Your children will be more likely to sit through a story if it’s one they chose themselves. Take them to the library and let them pick out what they want.
9. Take them to the library often. Take them to not only pick out more books to read at home, but participate in reading time, craft time or other learning activities at the library. Check your public library for schedules of upcoming events.
10. Follow up after reading a book. Plan a fun activity that has to do with the book you just read, for example make muffins after reading If You Give a Moose a Muffin. Give them materials to make an art project after reading a book or have them act out the book pretending to be their favorite character.
Most importantly just read, read, READ! You will have fun bonding with your child and watching them learn new things!