I began reading to my daughter as early as my second trimester which is actually around the time I found out I was pregnant. I was a young soon-to-be mother pursuing a college education. While most of the books I read aloud were for my college classes I also read poems, novels, as well as both pregnancy and parenting books. Aside from focusing on my studies, I spent a lot of my time researching ways on how to create a solid foundation for my baby’s development. I came across a lot of suggestions online and in books, reading to babies was mentioned the most. Actually, my team of doctors in my obstetrician-gynecologists office recommended reading to babies from the womb. Once my daughter was born her pediatrician also recommended reading to her. Back then I didn’t realize how beneficial reading to a baby so early on really was.
With time I learned that there are so many benefits to reading to your child throughout the baby and toddler phase. Reading gives children new knowledge. They are able to learn words and their meanings which helps them to expand their vocabulary as they grow. Reading to our little ones provide them with the opportunity to express themselves with much more ease too. It also teaches them to sit still, listen, observe and invites them to ask questions and create conversation.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”
– Dr. Seuss
By the time my daughter was four years old, she began to read children’s books to me. Reading to your child early on and then encouraging them to read on their own once they are ready prepares them for school and life in general. Reading is a skill that allows them to feel confident and comfortable both in and out of the classroom. Reading also sparks a child’s imagination and creativity. While my daughter enjoys reading her passion is in the illustrations. That’s the beauty of reading...every child finds their own magic in each book. Reading books together creates a special bond between a parent and child. Whether I’m listening to my oldest read aloud or reading a story to my youngest, it’s one of my favorite ways to spend quality time with my children. One of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child is time and if it’s an actual object…a book. While children outgrow books as they advance onto higher levels the skills they obtain from reading is instilled in them which lasts a lifetime.
How To Encourage Reading
- Visit your local library and/or bookstore.
- Participate in story-time, usually offered in local libraries/bookstores.
- Start a small library at home.
- Incorporate reading a bedtime story to your nighttime routine.
- Take interactive children’s books with you for on the road and outings.