Nothing benefits your children quite like reading to them. This is especially true when they are young. Reading to your kids improves their speech, reading, and thinking abilities. It stimulates their imagination and fosters a positive attitude toward learning. And it improves your relationship because you are having fun together and giving them undivided attention.
Our world is so busy and technological that it can be easy to let a few days (or weeks) go by without reading to your kids. But the benefits are too tremendous not to get into a routine of reading with them. Here are a few steps you can follow to read to your kids on a regular basis:
Get a Bookshelf
Buy your kids a bookshelf and fill it with books. You can buy books almost anywhere! Go to a bookstore or find the book section at any department store. Order books through the Scholastic book orders your child gets at school. If new books are too expensive, try looking at garage sales or resale shops. Dollar stores usually carry books, too.
Remember that books are worth the money. You are investing in your child’s development and equipping them for a lifetime of learning.
Get a Library Card
In addition to buying books, check them out from your local library. Library cards are free and give you access to more books than you could ever own! Most libraries also offer activities for children, such as story time and summer reading programs. Taking your kids to the library exposes them to a variety of books and increases their desire to learn.
Get Into It
Some adults seem uncomfortable reading to kids. Maybe reading bores them or they are self-conscious about how they sound. But it is so important for you as the reader to get into the story. Read it in a way that brings it to life. Try using different voices, speeding up and slowing down, getting louder and softer, and using emotion. Put in the effort to make reading a fun and exciting experience.
There are many ways to get your kids into the story as well. Let them hold the book or turn the pages while you read. Ask questions such as, “What do you think happens next?” or, “Why did that happen?” Highlight repetitive lines or phrases and prompt your kids to say them at the right times.
It is never too early to read to your kids. Reading to infants and toddlers activates their minds. It introduces them to fundamental concepts like letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. It helps them recognize common objects and begin to perceive the world around them. There are foam and cloth books that are safe for infants, and board books that are durable for toddlers.
It is never to late to read with your kids either. Children, preteens, and teenagers enjoy reading, and many popular movies are based on bestselling book series. This is a great chance to connect with your kids when they get older. Even if you read the books separately, you can still talk about them and enjoy seeing the movies together.
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