Birth to Five

Why should I read to my child?

Dad and child reading

Talking, reading and singing to your child are some of the best ways to create good bonding experiences between you and your child. Children who are read to frequently and starting at an early age tend to enjoy reading more and have better vocabularies, which will help them when they are learning to read later on.

Talking and reading to your child also fosters better brain development. Current research shows that the wiring of the brain comes after birth and the more language a baby hears, the better wired their brain becomes.

Here are some simple fun things you can do with your child!

  • Set aside time everyday to read aloud to your child.
  • Read, sing, and talk to your child to promote healthy brain development.
  • Reread and sing favorite books and songs over and over again. Repetition helps brain connections grow stronger.
  • Encourage your child to get involved with the story by making sounds, doing motions and asking questions.
  • Attend story time programs and check out lots of books at your local library.
  • Turn off the television. The American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) recommends no TV for children under the age of 2.
  • Have a conversation with your child but remember to pause and wait at least 5 seconds for her to respond.
  • Speak and read books in a language that is most comfortable to you.
  • Sing songs and say nursery rhymes to help your child hear the smaller sounds and syllables in words.
  • Check out a book from the library that has fun-filled activities to do with your child.
  • Be a reader yourself. Babies and children need good role models!
  • Most of all, make reading fun! Children who enjoy being read to will want to learn how to read.
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