What do Pete the Cat and The Very Hungry Caterpillar children’s stories have in common?
They both have the power to introduce your child to new worlds, to spark their imagination, to teach them about change, and promote general knowledge and understanding about the world.
As a parent and now a grandparent, one of my favorite parts of the day was and is reading books before bedtime. More than just a cozy cuddle at the end of a long and busy day, did you know that reading to your child has a whole host of benefits.
Benefits Of Reading To Your Child:
- Improves the lifelong skills of concentration, discipline, and attention span.
- Teaches children how to manipulate a book. Books have a cover and a back, they open, and we read from left to right. Helps children make the connection that the letters on the page are the words they are hearing.
- Encourages a thirst for knowledge and leads to questions about the world we live in.
- Develops a child’s imagination as they begin to think about the setting, the characters, and make predictions about what comes next.
- Helps a child develop empathy as they imagine what it would be like to be in different situations.
- Teaches children about important social skills such as sharing, being kind, coping in times of stress, and diversity.
- Introduces children to letter and sound recognition, the basic rules of grammar and sentence formation.
- Develops a love of reading and a positive association with books.
- Offers children an opportunity to practice listening. Daily reading provides opportunities for hearing spoken language. It helps expand your child’s vocabulary beyond day-to-day experiences.
- Creates a lifelong bond between parent (grandparents and caregivers too!) and child.
Reading together for just 15 minutes a day can be a great way to wind down, relax and bond with your child, it gives them the skills needed to succeed when they start to read themselves. Did you know that children who enjoy reading not only do better in language and literacy subjects, but in all subjects as well.
Life is busy and sometimes it is challenging to fit one more thing into the day. Here are some tips to get a reading routine started if you do not already have one:
- Pick a cozy reading spot and a quiet time, bedtime is our favorite.
- Ask your child’s teacher or B-3 provider for age appropriate book recommendations. Your child’s teacher will also be able to give you book suggestions that relate to the monthly classroom theme.
- Make visits to the Public Library part of your weekly or monthly routine. Let your child know that the library is a fun place to visit!
- Look for books with engaging illustrations that follow the storyline. Pause often to ask your child what they think is happening and will happen next.
- Repetition is your friend! You may get tired of reading the same book over and over but it helps your child learn vocabulary and sentence structure.
- Read aloud in an engaging manner, silly character voices are encouraged.
When your child sees and experiences your love of books, they will begin to love books too, setting them on a path of life-long reading. “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” - Emilie Buchwald