Since he was about 6-7 months old, every night before he goes to bed, I read a few short books to S. For the first few months I don’t think he even looked at me, but I continued. When he turned 10 months he’d flick through a few pages himself or often come over to where I was kneeling by his cot and look at what I was reading. Now at 12.5 months when he’s put in his cot at 7:15pm, he walks over to where all his books are kept at the end of his cot and pulls 3-4 out, handing me one. Often he’ll sit in his cot on his own and leaf through a few of the smaller books…he already has his favourites (Thomas the tank engine)!!
We’re always told reading to babies is good for them but no one really says why. I did it anyway and I’m so glad I did. As a child my fondest memories are the bedtime stories my dad told my brother and I. He wouldn’t read from a book though, he’d make up the story as he went along and then leave it at a cliff hanger for the next night. We couldn’t wait until the next night!!! But ofcourse this was when we were alot older.
So I did alittle research into why we should read to babies. For me, I was an avid reader as a child and so always wanted my child to pick up on the habit. I know its too early to tell if S will be a reader but am hoping alittle reading to him now will go a long way. These are some other reasons you should read to your baby/toddler:
1. It develops a stronger relationship between you and your child. In no time children are up and running and doing all sorts on their own. Reading together is something you can always come back to reminiscing of a time when your child was alot younger. In many cases then, reading becomes a part of your routine and is seen as fun and not as a task or chore.
2. It develops your toddlers speech skills and also helps them with their phonics. The more you read to them, the more vocabulary they will pick up.
3. Studies have shown that early reading to your child will improve their academic excellence as it gives them a higher aptitude for learning.
4. As your child gets older, reading different books helps them to develop a more vivid imagination as well as think outside the box. It improves their creativity by opening up their minds.
5. By creating “reading time”, you’re getting your child to sit down and listen and concentrate thereby building their attention spa, self discipline and memory retention skills.
These are just some of the benefits of reading to young children, I’m sure there are many more.
Do you read to your child? If so, which books? Any recommendations?