Reading to Children Category
As you may have realized, here at Kolcraft we are huge proponents of reading to your children because it is critical for your child’s development. We thought that on National Read A Book day it’s only fitting to look at why it’s so important to take the time to read to your children.
A few ways reading helps your child develop:
- Builds a stronger relationship between you & your child. Snuggling up with a book allows you to have close contact with your child which will continue past toddler years.
- Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to children as early as infancy is a higher aptitude for learning in general.
- Basic speech skills. From the start your child is learning critical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read the basic sounds that form language, words are being reinforced for your child.
- Learning how to read a book. Reading from left to right and distinguishing between words and pictures happens while you are reading to them and modeling how to read.
- Better communication skills. By hearing and seeing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as close contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.
- Logical thinking skills. Reading helps children grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. As your child grows he will be able to apply these scenarios to his life.
- Enhanced concentration and discipline. Along with reading comprehension comes a stronger self-discipline, longer attention span, and better memory retention, all of which will serve your child well when she enters school.
Tips on reading to your child:
- Anything that contains words is valuable-anything. If you are tired of reading the same book 10 times a day, pick up a catalog, the newspaper, a magazine and read to your child from that.
- Model good reading. Your children, including babies, need to see YOU enjoying reading. Turn off the TV and have family reading time at least once a week.
- Show baby that basic book skills are important by explaining that you are turning pages, by using your finger to show print goes from left to right, etc.
- Phonemic awareness–chunking/manipulating sounds–is the BIGGEST predictor of reading success later in life. This skill is easily practiced through Dr. Seuss books–cat, hat, mat, etc.
What is your favorite book to read to your child?
There are many benefits of reading to your children and teaching them to read – one of which is unlocking their imaginations. We love the book Press Here by Herve Tullet. This fun book starts with a yellow dot, but as your child follows the instructions (press the dot, rub the dot, clap) the dot begins to change colors, multiply, move around the page, etc. It’s a wonderful concept that blends a book and iPhone app games only more fun!
We give the book 5 stars! Check it out for yourself by watching the video and then order it on Amazon!
What is your child’s favorite book for unlocking his imagination?
We continue Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration with an easy and fun make your own book activity you can do with your child!
What you need:
- Blank 8.5 x 11 paper
- Crayons, markers or non-toxic paint
- Hole Punch
- Scissors (adult use only)
What to do:
- Cut sheets of paper in half.
- Have your child draw pictures, print alphabet letters, write a story with you, etc.
- Punch a hole at the top side & bottom side of the felt and the the paper. If you prefer to just use a long piece of string to bind the book together like we did in the photo, you can do that as well.
- String the pages together using the felt as the book cover.
Enjoy your child’s very first published book!
Tomorrow we celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday & Read Across America Day so today we want to take a look at some tips for reading to your child.
Reading aloud with your child for just 20 minutes a day strengthens relationships, encourages listening and language skills, promotes attention and curiosity and establishes a strong reading foundation. These skills are essential for success in school and in life.
A few tips for setting your child on the path to literacy:
- Field Trips – Take field trips to your library or local bookstore. Help your child feel at home among books and take advantage of they many free programs your library or bookstore offers.
- Read to your baby - Use books with different textures and pictures. Soon your baby will associate words and pictures with meaning.
- Go beyond words – Point out specific objects and illustrations in books to your toddler. Ask them, “Where is the mouse? Where is the green tree?” This will help your child increase his vocabulary.
- Encourage – If your child wants to try to pronounce a word, encourage her and take the time to let her recognize and pronounce words.
- Have fun – Your positive reaction to reading time will signal to your child that books are fun.
Enjoy opening new worlds of learning with your child through books!
We really believe in giving your child a head start to learning and imagination through books. Books can also be a wonderful way to teach your child life lessons through story. We love the Joy Berry books to help teach your child a variety of lessons on:
- Eating healthy meals
- Feeling Afraid
- Being Rude
- And much more
Many of these books come with down-loadable music, printables, parenting tips and read alongs. If you are having a problem teaching your child a lesson or want to prevent certain issues from even starting, check out the Joy Books website. You never know what worlds and lessons a story can open for your child.
What books have you used to teach your child life lessons?
Mom started reading to us when we were still in her womb. She was determined that we would love books because she knew they would open new worlds for us. Mom made reading fun. She would snuggle with us in bed as she read our favorite bedtime stories. When we got a little older, she would read a chapter a night of a bigger book like The Secret Garden or Mandy.
Those special bedtime reading rituals are cherished memories I still have today, but they are more than memories. I continue to love reading and I’m so grateful that the good reading habits I had as a child, helped me throughout school and even now in my current career.
The holidays are a great time to start some reading traditions. A few simple tips to get your little one hooked on books!
Children under a year
- Snuggle with your child as you read to equate good feelings with reading.
- Look for age appropriate books with bright simple, pictures with few words.
- Use rhythm when you read. Clap to promote baby’s natural sense of rhythm. Brown Bear is a perfect book for this.
Children 1-2 years old
- Let your child turn the pages of the book as you read so he feels part of the reading experience.
- Use silly voices, make animals noises and add drama. It will get your child extra excited about the story.
- Make your own book with your child’s baby photos. We love Shutterfly’s albums where you can add text and pictures. Your child will love reading the story of her own life.
What reading tips do you have for your little one?
Summer brings extra time to be outdoors, to play, to picnic and to read! Good reading habits are developed during your child’s early stages of development. By encouraging your child to read, by setting time aside to read to your child or have your child read to you and by taking them to bookstores or the library, you are instilling in them the tools for good reading skills that will carry them through school and their adult years.
One way to make a trip to your local library or bookstore special, is to have your child design his or her own canvas bag for books. We love the inexpensive bags at Oriental Trading.
What you need:
- Canvas bag
- Non toxic fabric markers or paint
- Disposable table cloth to cover the surface where your child is designing his or her bag
- Encouragement and imagination
Ask your child how he or she would like to decorate their special book bag. Perhaps they would like to draw a character from a favorite book or make their own version of modern art and splash different colors on the bag. You can also change things up by decorating with felt or foam cutouts or embellishments that you can buy at any craft store. You can also make your bag decorating into a party by inviting over a few of your child’s friends to decorate bags with you.
Plan a trip to your library or local bookstore so your child can carry their books in their newly decorated bag. By using this bag just for “book trips” you are teaching your child that book time is special.
A few other benefits of having a special book bag:
- Storing library books in bag between trips will help them not get lost.
- Walking to your library or bookstore will add a touch of fitness to your day. You and your child will have the double benefit of exercise and reading time!
- Using a canvas bag instead of plastic will teach your child about being green.
What ways do you make reading time special for your child?
One of my favorite memories from childhood is my mom reading to my sister and I before bed. We would pile into my sister’s bed with mom in the middle so we could see the pictures in the book. We loved how mom would take on different voices for the various characters in the book. It was a cherished time when we had mom “all to ourselves.” As an adult I realize we pretty much always had mom “all to ourselves,” but there was something special about story time. It was that “sacred time” set aside for snuggling and entering into new worlds of imagination through stories. And it was just for us and mom – no telephone or TV could interrupt us.
It’s never too early (or too late) to start reading with your child. Hold your baby and cuddle as you read. Your baby will then start to associate reading with positive feelings of being warm and safe.
What bedtime rituals do you remember from childhood? Have you continued something similar with your children?