Reading to your children; something that seems to simple and common sense, but in a world of upcoming technology and screens, it’s easy for it to put on the back burner. I know there are times where I will make excuses as to why I don’t have time to read to my kids, and I need to remind myself every once in a while of the benefits and importance of reading to my children daily. Offering early reading experiences is critical in the cognitive, emotional, and social development of children. Reading every day with your child, even if it’s only for 10 minutes a, day goes a long way. And the beautiful thing about reading is that it’s never too early to start. Cuddle up with your little one and soak in the joys of reading.
Reading opens children’s minds to new ideas and the world around them. Reading allows them to form images in their minds through the descriptive language portraying people, places, feelings, and thoughts, a practice that will translate into their everyday lives and play.
Forms Listening Skills and Focus
Listening and comprehending a story requires concentration and focus. The more often they read, the longer their attention span will extend, and listening skills will improve.
Improves Language Skills –
Reading introduces the sounds and rhythms of the language and broadens vocabulary.
Introduces Early Literacy skills
- Understanding that words are read from left to right and top to bottom
- Reinforces Book mechanics
- Pointing to words to demonstrate an understanding that the print carries meaning.
- Recognizing and producing rhyming words.
- Recognizing that words are separate units that make up a sentence.
- Blending and segmenting syllables and sounds to form words.
- Identifying the first and last sounds in spoken words.
- Recognizing and naming upper and lower case letters, especially letters in their first name.
- Recognizing the sounds associated with the letter
Provokes Critical Thinking
Along with the exposure to new ideas and creativity, reading opens up the experience for prediction, reflection, discussion, and opened-ended questions.
Strengthens Relationship Bond
Reading to your child is an opportunity to establish a strong and nurturing bond with them. When you take the time to give them that undivided attention, it communicates love and safety. Snuggling up to your child and reading has also been shown to release oxytocin or “happy hormones” and reduces stress. So not only is it so good for your child but also beneficial for you. Some of the most excellent advice I received regarding tantrums or challenging moments with children was to cuddle and read a book.
With all of that, what books do you pick up and read with your little ones? I compiled a list of our favorite children’s books, along with some of my favorite children’d authors.
Eric Carle – Simple storylines usually involving animals, and colorful illustrations, and interactive pages, especially loved by the younger ones.
Most known for : The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug
Kevin Henkes – Sweet characters and stories that address many situations kids go through daily.
Most known for : Owen, Jessica, Wemberly Worried
Arnold Lobel – I grew up reading Frog and Toad with my dad, and as a child didn’t always catch onto the humor but knew it was there because of my dad’s settle chuckling. Great characters, clever dialogue, not to mention beautiful illustrations, his books will always be some of my favorites.
Most known for : Frog and Toad, Fables, Owl at Home
Robert McCloskey – Vintage quality stories, his stories are simple and endearing, with beautifully detailed illustrations.
Most known for : Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, The Little Engine that could
Beatrix Potter – Her books are filled with great vocabulary, heartwarming stories, engaging characters, and lovely illustrations. I think she is favorite for all.
Most known for : The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
E.B. White – Descriptive stories and lovable characters, his stories are beloved in the world of children’s books.
Most known for : Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little
Margaret Wise Brown – Endearing and quiet stories read with effortless rhythm, her stories are loved by many.
Most known for : Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, Big Red Barn
Akinchina, Alexandra. Reading Enhances Imagination. 15 Sept. 2019, worldliteracyfoundation.org/reading-enhances-imagination/.
Kalb, Guyonne, and Jan C. van Ours. Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life? 5 Feb. 2014, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272775714000156.
Kalba, Guyonne. “Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life?” Elsevier Ltd.
Says, BETTY HITTENBERGER, et al. Why Cuddling Is Good For Kids’ Brains – & How Often To Do It. 11 June 2020, amotherfarfromhome.com/cuddling-benefits-childrens-brains/.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 4. Mission Critical: Reading Together to Build Critical Thinking Skills. 23 Aug. 2017, www.readingrockets.org/article/mission-critical-reading-together-build-critical-thinking-skills