Books, books and more books. There are a few things I believe children can never have too much of, sleep and books! If you have to buy something for your child buy books. If you can’t afford to buy your child books take them to he library and borrow them. My experience both personally and professionally is that there isn’t any other item that can positively affect speech, language and all academic areas other than a book.
It is important to expose children to books as early as possible to help frame their minds towards obtaining, processing and analyzing information. I’ve met many parents who have expressed to me that they didn’t think their young child would be interested in books or be able to attend to a book, FALSE! Your little ones are interested in everything you are doing and in everything you put around them. A baby mouthing, holding, opening, and throwing a book will later lead into holding a book up right, turning the pages, vocalizing (pretend reading), pointing to pictures and requesting to be read to. There is so much to learn from books. So many areas that can benefit from having books in your home:
- book awareness (how to hold a book, pages)
- print awareness (letters make sounds, letters make words, words we say are words we read)
- syllables, word, phrases, sentences
- speech sounds modeled
- basic language concepts (i.e. size, shapes, colors, preposition)
Added benefits are bonding and shared quality time that you will have with your child while holding a book together. The more opportunities you provide for reading the more they will learn and the more interested they become with learning.
In my post Bed Time Reading I talk about a study, by lead researcher M.D.R. Evans, that revealed having books in your home has a direct correlation to your child’s future academic performance regardless of how much his/her parents earn or their educational levels. In our house each one of our girls have their own bookshelves in their rooms. We also have books in every room.
Early and continuous exposure to books and reading as your child grows will only have positive benefits on your child’s future. As they grow into their books and reading remember:
- In the beginning buy strong small books.
- Set a routine reading time such as Bed Time Reading
- Read at least 1 book a day ( more is better)
- It’s alright to read the same book over and over, soon you’ll notice your child filling in the blanks or pretend reading with that same book.
- If possible, give them a place for their books or a special place for reading
- Teach them about taking care of their books
- Let them see you with books
- Allow them to choose their own books, if they are too young let them choose between two.
- Choose books they can relate to or make connections.
- Use fiction and nonfiction
- Spring clean books as your little ones grow
- maintain on level and above level books
- As a baby shower gift buy a couple of books, they last longer than clothes or diapers.
- Own more books than toys
A book, the easiest tool to use in everyday learning, with life long impact. So, next birthday or Christmas grab a great book for your little one. How do you incorporate books into everyday learning with your little ones?