This week’s guest post is from Lindsey Blake. We hope that you find it useful and look forward to future posts from Lindsey. Here’s hoping there are some books under the tree this year.
One of my favorite times as a child was when my mom would say, “Alright girls, let’s pick out some books for us to read before bedtime!” My sister and I would then race to our bedroom closet and bring out an armful of books. My mom would read them to us; and though my sister and I were toddlers, we would sometimes “read” the books to my mom.
Looking back, bedtime reading was truly a bonding experience for the three of us. No matter how busy we were as a family, my mom made an effort to set aside this time for us every night. Even if it was for a mere five minutes I always treasured this time, and it became part of our nightly routine.
Reading to children, from as early as infancy, is helpful in many ways:
1) Reading can foster a child’s imagination. Reading introduces children to new words, colors and pictures, stories and concepts. A preschooler may open up a book and read to those around her. She may tell a story that makes no sense to an adult, but to the child it is fascinating!
2) Reading can help children understand tough transitional times. Big milestones like potty training, going to school, going to the doctor, welcoming a new sibling, etc. can often be explained well with stories and pictures.
3) Reading a book with your kids can help build their attention span. Children, as you know, are full of energy and have a hard time staying still. Through reading on a regular basis, children will learn to be engaged with the story and will develop an interest in listening.
4) Reading creates the ability to learn for a lifetime. A toddler who is read to becomes an elementary student who likes to read, and will continue to read as an adult.
I encourage you to make reading to your child a regular activity. It’s never too early to start, and if you build it into your daily routine, then books will become a treasured and valuable part of their lives.
Lindsey Blake is a Family Support Worker in the Parents And Children Together program at Family Tree Relief Nursery.