Welcome to the beginning of Tots & Teens Thursdays. If you missed last week’s post, here is how this whole idea come about.
This first post is more for tots than teens, but I will be taking this idea & expanding it to teens next week.
You’ve heard it before, & I’m telling you again.
The single.most. important. thing. you can do for your child to create a love of reading is to read to them.
Read. Read. Read.
Just like building a house, you have to build a reading foundation. Sitting down with your child and reading books is the way to establish that solid foundation.
When my boys were babies (read: before they were mobile), reading books to them was a piece of cake. They were a captive audience. Then they started getting wiggly when I tried to read to them. It’s okay. Let them move around. Let them walk around the room. Play with toys. Just sit and read to them anyway. I promise the day will come that you will once again have your captive audience back.
Another thing? Have books in your house. Please don’t read that as “You need to go buy a gazillion & 1 books for your child.” Sure, buy some books, but hear me on this…
Take your child to the library. Often.
1) It saves you money buying books.
2) It surrounds them in books.
Our local library has several options for baby & toddler & preschool play times, singing times, & story times. Granted several of the programs are during the day, but there are some in the late afternoon & early evening. If your local library has these options available, I recommend you partake if you are able.
Board books are great for the little ones. You know the ones, right? They have the big, chunky pages. My boys love the Sandra Boyton books. Eric Carle is awesome too. Lots of good ones out there. Chantelle over at Mom Went Crazy already has an awesome list of great children’s book titles & authors. I couldn’t have made a better list myself, and, in fact, I would have included the majority of the same titles. The list has books for wee ones all the way up to 7 or 8. (Charlotte’s Web, for example, could easily be a read aloud book for a 5 or 6 year-old & an independent read for a 7 or 8 year-old.)
So, what exactly is your child learning when you read to them?
Besides that all-important foundation you are building, your child is learning the way books work. Which way to hold a book. Where the front cover is. That you read print front left to right. That pictures relate to the words on the page. When you hand a book to your child upside down & with the back cover up & he or she turns it right side up & flips it to the front cover, you know your child is understanding the early, early foundations of reading.