The American Academy of Pediatrics ""strongly recommends reading to children every day, starting after they are first born," because "reading stimulates the development of the brain, language and a closer emotional relationship with a child."
As a mom and grandma, I wholeheartedly believe that reading to a child from the time they are infants helps them to grow creatively and get a head start on language skills, listening skills, and is a great way to grow a close emotional relationship with your child. You can start when they are infants by reading aloud to them, and it's said that it doesn't matter what you read, just so you read. You can read your favorite novel, the Sunday Funnies, a cookbook, just so long as you read.
And as your baby becomes a toddler and starts to understand more, reading opens up a whole new world of places they haven't been, things they have not seen, of princesses and knights, talking bugs and bears, of magical places that only a story can take you. You can read anywhere, so don't feel you must limit it to bedtime stories. Take books with you to read while waiting for your meal at the restaurant, while waiting in the doctors office, or even in the checkout line at the store.
Do you think that reading to your child will give him the skills to be a good listener? To master language development? Do you think it will help to increase his attention span? Do you think it helps a child to express himself better in both oral and written terms? Do you think that reading to your child from infancy helps him to open his imagination and be more creative? All of these things are believed to be true, molding a child into becoming a "reader" and increasing his potential for academic success.
I loved to read to my children when they were toddlers, and they loved the time spent one on one reading to them. Both of my children did very well once they entered school with spelling, reading, and writing. I strongly believe that reading to them from infancy played an integral part in their ability to learn to read so quickly. I always read to them at bedtime but also during the day. We would sit on the sofa with a pile of books and read, sometimes for an hour at a time. Looking back, those are some of the most special moments with my children. It was quality time spent together and something I will cherish forever.
What can you do to help your child or another child become a good reader? You can read to them for starters. Giving a child a book as a gift for their birthday or even as a gift for the new baby is a great idea, or for older children a gift certificate to a book store so they can choose the book themself. Be a good example by reading yourself! If you see a child reading a book, ask them questions about it as they will love to tell you what they are reading about. If you have childrens books and your child has outgrown them, donate them to school libraries, to teachers, to day cares. Let children know that reading rocks!
Take a look at some of our T-shirts, tote bags, buttons, and other items that help promote reading and the love of books. Great for parents, for teachers, for kids!