Growing up, I loved reading books. I couldn’t get enough of The Babysitter Club books and was always asking my Mom to buy me the next one as soon as it came out in the bookstore. My mom always read to me and to my 2 younger sisters, too. This really helped to instill a love of reading for me and I’m happy to say that I have passed that love of reading onto my three kids.
My mom was always helping in our classes at school, our Girl Scout troop after school or as a parent volunteer on my T-Ball team. She was always there for us and showed me what I wanted to look like when I became a Mom. I made sure to always read to my kids, even as little tiny babies. I sang them songs…even if it was just making up silly words or singing in a terrible voice.
I’ve written before about First 5 California and their Talk. Read. Sing.® program. This program teaches us the importance of talking, reading and singing to your child from day one. First 5 California tells us that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first 5 years of life and that is HUGE! Think of everything your child takes in and does in the first 5 years of their life. It’s a lot, right? So if we can talk with them, read to them and sing with them all the time wouldn’t that be great for their brain development?
Reading aloud to kids isn’t just about hoping that they will love to read though. There are so many amazing benefits to reading to them from Day 1. You’re helping to build a baby’s listening and memory skills, plus helping them to be aware of language. Here are some tips for reading to your kids, no matter what age they are:
- Read just a page or two at a time. Even though babies have a short attention span, even reading them a page or two will get them in the habit of listening to you read.
- Choose books with bright colors and characters
- Board books with different textures are great so that your baby can not only listen but feel the book too
- If you’re a parent, I’m sure you know that it can get annoying reading the same book over and over (and over and over and over) again. But when you do read the same story over & over, your child will connect pictures that are seeing with the words on the page
- Have your child tell you what they think is going to happen in the story next and let them turn the page to find out
- Take your child to the library and read to them there and let them choose their own books to take home with them
- Have your child help you make up a new ending to their favorite story
- Introduce a craft, recipe or activity that ties into their favorite book
- Ask your child to sound out easy words as they read along with you
What are some of your kid’s favorite books? Any tips for getting your kids to love reading? How do you“talk/read/sing” to your little ones? Head on over to First 5 California, where you’ll find free activities, helpful information, free downloads and more.
I’m so thankful for my Mom who was always there to talk, read & sing with me and I’m glad I was able to do the same thing for my 3 kids!