I’ve always been a big reader! I love to curl up with a book and get lost for hours in another world, another person’s life. So it’s important to me to have my son grow up with the same love for reading. Kids are so quick to gravitate towards the tv, internet, iPads and videogames, but there are so many benefits to turning your little one on to books:
1. Builds Imagination & Creativity
2. Teaches Patience
3. Encourages Discovery & Exploration
4. Improved Writing & Language Skills
5. Helps to Develop Empathy & Kindness- learning about different
people, their culture, lives and feelings will help your child have a better sensitivity and kindness for others.
So how do you get your baby or toddler to love books?
1. Start with baby board books. Babies learn and take in information at such a rapid rate. Board books are attractive because they offer a sensory experience. Your baby can touch them, taste them. They have big colorful pictures and simple words. Introduce some that have textures and sparkles, things your baby will love to touch.
2. Make reading a part of your routine. Set aside a part of your day that’s for reading. Let your baby pick a book and read it to him. Be expressive, and use gestures or sounds that will get his attention, make him laugh. Story time doesn’t have to bedtime. When my son started to crawl he was too active and curious to sit still through even a few pages. So I let him play and crawl and kept reading. After time he learned that story time meant pick a book and now he understands book and will grab one and go to our reading spot.
3. Go to the library. Libraries are a wonderful adventure for babies. They offer storytime, exploration, play with other littles, and an immersion in a world of books. Brady loves our weekly library visits.
4. Read in front of him. Read the paper, read a book. Let your child see you reading and she’ll be excited about reading too.
5. Build up a library to grow with. Whether it’s a whole bookcase, a shelf, a pile in the corner, start building up a set of books that will interest your child as he grows. Start with simple word books and progress into the favorites, chapter books, the classics. Thrift stores are a great place to find cheap books. Or eBay, Amazon. Or create a list you can give family for when they want to buy a gift.
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