One of the best things about reading is that it is a shared activity with a family member, a guardian, a teacher and even your local children’s librarian! Children learn more when we as adults find time to interact with them through a variety of activities. Reading books and telling stories offer more than just entertainment and facts, reading books and telling stories offers children the opportunity to practice problem solving, language skills and sequencing. They introduce children to other environments, people and cultures. They spark imagination and encourage dramatic play, fort building and dress-up. Reading can also expose children to new foods, as well as, arts and craft projects.
It is so important to choose books that are age appropriate for children. Babies and toddlers are more suited to board books because they are smaller and easier for tiny hands to hold and filled with bright eye-catching illustrations. Preschoolers enjoy picture books. Picture books allow a preschooler to look at the illustrations and visually see the story as you read it to them. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the story has no more characters than the age of your child and not too long in length. Preschoolers especially love stories that rhyme and ones that are predictable.
"Jungle Night" a new board book at the Frankfort Children's Department.
"Cautious Chameleon" a new picture book at the Frankfort Children's Department.
Reading to your child can help increase their reasoning skills and their vocabulary. Be sure to stop every once in a while and let them guess what they think will happen next! At the end of the story, talk about how they might have changed the story if they had wrote the book themselves. Take time to reread their favorite books. This allows your child to use their memory skills by recalling what is going to happen next.
Parents and caregivers often do reading to prepare a child for bedtime, to calm them down, to disengage their minds so they will fall asleep. Unfortunately, there is little learning taking place. Reading at bedtime is fine, just not the only time! Learning takes place when your child is actively discussing a story or when they try to anticipate what will happen next. Your child needs to be encouraged to extend their favorite stories into creative play.
Reading to your child is one of the best investments you can make in your child’s future.
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