Reading to your child(ren) does so many wonderful things. From building vocabulary, encouraging a love of books and reading, to helping them develop phonological (sound) awareness, reading everyday with your child helps them get ready for school and for life.
Did you know that reading everyday with your child from the day they are born also helps you develop a strong bond with them? Research has shown that children who have many positive experiences with their parents and caregivers from birth tend to have healthier brain development and tend to lead more successful, happy, healthy lives as they get older. Reading is a great way to develop that bond and support healthy brain development.
Babies LOVE to hear your voice and love to hear you read stories. For infants up to about seven (7) months, include books with high-contrast pictures as their eyesight is still developing. Babies’ brains are also naturally attracted to faces, so include books with real photos of human faces. Books with lots of repetition are great, as well, in helping to develop a strong vocabulary (the human brain learns through repetition!). When reading, don’t be afraid to sing the words and use parentese. Parentese is a way of using exaggerated, elongated, almost “sing-songy” speech with children. Research has shown that parentese helps stimulate babies’ brains and strengthens the bond between you and your child. Great books to read with babies might include:
As babies become toddlers, interactive books that get them moving is a great way to develop their love of reading. As you read an interactive, movement-encouraging book with your toddler, be sure to do the movements with them. This will get them moving, laughing, and enjoying the time you spend reading books with them. A few great interactive books to read with toddlers might include:
When choosing books, be cognizant of your child’s attention span and mood. Reading with your child when they are feeling positive and happy will help them see reading as a fun, enjoyable experience that they’ll look forward to now and as they get older. Try interspersing longer picture book stories with shorter, funny picture books and readers. A few titles for your preschooler might include:
-Annie, Children's Librarian, Dusenberry-River Library
Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play!
Reading helps children understand how text works and positions them to increase their language and literacy skills throughout their lives.
Read more about early literacy and how you can make a difference in your child's life.