Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tots & Teens Thursday: Read. Read. Read.

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.


  1. Brilliant! As a primary school teacher before I also became a SAHM I totally agree! READ READ READ! I read to my boys everywhere, before bed, at snack time, during bath time etc. They love it and its so important. My one year old who catn speak yet smiles at the end of each page because he's started to recognise the pictures and the words i'm saying. I also feel the same about singing it helps their speech no end so bring on the nursery rhymes too lolx

  2. Great advice on the singing and nursery rhymes! Thanks Siany. :)

  3. I have been reading to my kids since they were born and they love it. Sometimes it was challenging for me because I would get bored reading the same books over and over but I wouldn't quit because they loved it. We have lots of books in our house and whenever my oldest gets a prize for something we take her to the bookstore and let her pick out a new book. The library is always great too.

  4. This is an awesome post! My son LOVES books and loves reading, or me reading to him. I've been reading to him since he was born, and he just shakes with excitement when we play books (everyday); we read together and it is also one independant play he loves to do. He looks at his books (right side up!) and names the animals, items, colors, etc.

    We also go to the library every Tuesday for a toddler reading group, so much fun.

    Reading & his love of books is one thing I'm most proud of.

    Maegan :)