Children usually don’t start reading before the age of 5 or 6 because, until that age, most children have not yet formed certain neural connections that allow them to decode printed letters and then mentally combine them to make words. However, awakening your child’s love of reading starts when he/she is an infant. Reading books to babies and re-reading the same books gives your infant a wonderful head start to many areas of his development.
Read aloud to your child every day starting when he/she is an infant until they are independent readers. Even then, find time to share a book and discuss it with your tweens or teens. It is a perfect way to approach many difficult subjects or broaden their horizons. Why is reading to babies so important?
Why Reading to Babies Is Important?
- Focusing on pictures develops eye muscle coordination.
- Reading to babies develops a special connection between the parent and the baby.
- Reading to young children develops their language skills and teaches about communication.
- Reading is a perfect way to introduce the concepts of numbers, colors, shapes, letters, and to increase their vocabulary.
- Reading is a great way to introduce a second language.
- Reading builds memory and listening skills.
- Reading also invites your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions which promote social development and thinking skills.
- If babies associate FUN times with early reading of books it will stay with them and develop their love of reading which is a valuable life skill.
Babies enjoy hearing voices, specially the rhythm and sounds of many children’s books even if they cannot understand the words yet; therefore, it is never too early to start reading to babies!
Eric Carle books are great for kids. Our kids LOVED them. Books in print number over 40; some books listed on their web site are out of print and are no longer available in bookstores, but they may be found at your favorite library. Remember these favorites? – Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Why Re-reading Books to Children Important?
When your child enjoys a particular book, be willing to read it over and over again even in the same sitting.
When re-reading a same book, kids savour the language, richness of characters and the events that these characters have experienced.
Let your child participate as much as possible in reading. Let him finish the sentence, read the pictures, take turns reading, etc.
Each time it is re-read, the child can focus on a different aspect of the book because he knows the story. He can enjoy the illustrations, concentrate on the words used, ask new questions, you can ask new questions…
Talking about what’s happening in the pictures helps engage your child in the process.
Parents and teachers must encourage kids to enjoy the pleasure, comfort and predictability of repeated readings or book series.
Want to Open Doors for Your Kids?
… Open Library Doors
Get a library card! They are free! Libraries are opened many convenient hours. Most are online also; therefore, you can browse before going.
Join library programs for preschoolers and all other age groups.
Libraries have Saturday morning, Spring break and summer holiday fun, reading activities.
Make going to the library fun! Libraries are fun, FREE and going and coming makes it a fun adventure for kids. Also it is such a good habit to get into.
Libraries have it ALL… printed books, audio books, music CD’s, educational videos, children’s magazines, books in other languages, free computer time, excellent first dictionaries or pictionaries, kids’ cook books, craft books, how to books (sports, pets, puppets, sew, models…)
Be the READER You Hope Your Child to Be
Kids learn from example. Let them see you read in the house, in the park, anywhere and everywhere and anytime!
Ask for books as gifts for your child/children. Let the gifter know your child’s favorite animals, hobbies and passions so they can find the perfect book.