Happy 2020! We are 13 days into the new decade and I hope this message finds you well and still focused on all the intentions you set for the new year. I wanted to start off this year talking again about the powerful rewards of reading books with your children.
It is never too early to start reading with your children. Even before babies can talk they are able to reap the rewards of book reading. Reading is a proven way to teach language, build stronger vocabulary skills, as well as develop imagination, improve concentration, foster better literacy skills and critical thinking. Reading also has the power to connect children (and adults) to people, experiences, and cultures they may have otherwise never encountered.
Reading offers a myriad of benefits AND is a way to spend quality time bonding with your children. Parents you can encourage a passion for book reading early on- all that is required is your time, a book, and your child. Reading just one book a day can expose a child to over 300,00 words by the age of 5! That means that reading multiple books a day can expose your child to over a million words by the time they reach kindergarten! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when engaging in book reading with your children.
1. Let your child take the lead
When cultivating a love for reading it helps to let your child help select books to read. Give your child several options of age-appropriate books. Let them turn the pages at their own rate.
2. You don't have to read all he words on the page
Don’t feel the need to read all the words on a page or read the entire book. I like to let my daughter "read" the story to me or make up her own story. This is a great activity to foster creativity while expanding language skills. Encourage your child to look at the pictures and words!
3. Make it interactive
Comment on what you see on the pages. Pause and allow your child the opportunity to talk about what they see too. When your child responds, occasionally repeat what they said or expand on their comment. If your child doesn’t respond, that's ok. Don’t require them to say something, just move on. We want to maintain a positive reading experience!
4. Relate to real-world experiences
Make connections to things your child has seen that relate to what you are seeing in the book. For example, if you are looking at animals, talk about where your child saw those animals, such as at the zoo or on a farm.
5. Keep it fun!
Reading with your child at an early age will show them that reading is fun and not a chore! As your child gets older, reading will already be
a fun part of their routine.