Before you became a parent, you instinctively knew that you should read to your children. You may have even pictured yourself reading to your child. So much emphasis has been placed on reading in our society. Here are 5 tips for successfully sharing a love of reading with your children.
Begin early. – While some parents are so gung ho on reading to their babies that they begin while the babies are in utero, you can start right at birth. The earlier you begin reading to your baby, the better. The benefits of reading to babies are huge. It develops their language ability and builds their vocabulary. It makes it easier for them to learn to read since they have been exposed to book language from birth. It also encourages a love of reading right from the beginning. While you are recovering from the birthing experience, why not pull out a few books and share a love a reading with your child.
Find books you both enjoy. – Don’t even bother reading books that you don’t enjoy. This will make reading a chore. There are so many great children’s books available that you should never have to read books that are just fair. Look online for lists of great books and see if you can get them from your library. Some libraries offer home delivery, allowing you to request books that will be delivered right to your door.
Change your voice. – Babies love to hear variations in the way books are read. If you change your voice for different characters in the books, your baby is sure to love it. Don’t worry about how you sound, this makes reading books with characters a lot of fun.
Don’t just read discuss things. – Books are a great conversation starter. It is so important to discuss the things you see in the book with your baby. Don’t hesitate to pause before you turn each page and talk about what things you see. There is vocabulary that you will encounter in books that may never come up in your daily activities. This is one of the tremendous benefits of reading to babies.
Make reading an enjoyable experience. – If your baby senses that you enjoy reading to them, they will enjoy the experience as well. Make reading time a special moment you share, with lots of close contact and conversation. You are creating memories your child will cherish for a lifetime.