From their brains to their hearts, the benefits of reading to kids are undeniable. It doesn’t matter if your little one is hours, days, weeks, months or years old. Study after study has shown reading is one of the best things parents can do for their offspring.
Reading to children feeds their brains. Research shows reading to kids builds their vocabulary, which, in turn, makes them more prepared to read in the future. Books contain unique words we don’t use in everyday conversation. The more exposure to different words, the better!
Reading also helps kids relax, and cuddle time helps form a bond with their parents. (Not to mention, it’s fun for parents, too!)
There’s no right or wrong way to read- do what feels right to you. In an effort to get the pages turning, here are my ABCs of reading to kids:
Add to the Library
Kids love variety (although, they may choose the same book for days or weeks on end), so build up a library of books. Share some of the classics you read as kids, like Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are and The Hungry Caterpillar. There are also great books for this generation, like Llama Llama Red Pajama, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Let them choose the book or books they want to read to give them a say in the process.
Find a reading time that works and stick with it. For a lot of families, bedtime is best. You can curl up together and wind down at the end of the day. But that may not work for you; maybe you want to try mornings or after nap. Whenever you choose, try to make it a part of the daily routine so you keep it up.
I’m not an actor, but I can get creative at story time. Try using different voices for characters or even singing a story to hold their attention. You can take a night off by playing an audio book. Kids enjoy listening to different voices tell the stories they love.
It sounds simple because it is.
Parents, let’s go hit the books!