This post is sponsored by Children's Mercy Hospital, as always all opinions expressed are my own! This post contains affiliate links.
Reading to my kids is one of my favorite things to do with them, and of course I have my favorite books. I was recently reading Zero to Five, (a parenting book that I highly recommend) and I was reminded just how important reading is. Reading to children when they are young cultivates a love for reading that will continue as they grow. Children's Mercy Hospital has a Rhyming to Reading: Hearing and Speech program that you can order or find out when they are holding classes. Developed by the pediatric specialists in speech pathology, Rhyming to Reading™ is a systematic, multi-sensory and research based program that is designed to help educators, speech-language pathologists and parents teach young children early reading skills through visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile means.
Advice from a Children’s Mercy expert: “Speaking, singing and sharing books with babies are easy ways to cultivate literacy.” Sharon Wilkerson, MD
5 Tips for Reading to Your Child
1. Make Reading a Habit.
My biggest advice to remember to read to kids is to make it a part of a routine. We read to our kids at bedtime every night, each kid gets to pick 2 books and then we read all 4 books to both of them. I also made a goal to read to them more each day (especially since bedtime reading is almost always done by dad) so I read to my kids while they are eating lunch.
2. Ask Questions.
While reading take the time to point to things on the pages and ask your child questions. "Where is the red strawberry?" "What do you think is going to happen next?" "What is your favorite flower on this page?" This helps kids stay engaged in the book but also provokes more thought.
3. Let them Help. When you are reading a favorite book for the 15th time start a line but then let your child finish the sentence. We started doing this with our oldest when he was around 2 and he memorized several of his favorite books.
4. Find New Books. Keep reading exciting by finding new books to read. Take your kids to the library to pick out some new books. My kids love going to the library and taking their time in the children's section. Often the come home with books I'm not thrilled about (ninja turtles and doc mcstuffins) so I also do my own research and try to find lists of really great children's books that we haven't read that I can request at the library. My friend Janssen is a book blogger and always writing about new children's books she loves. I also like to look at lists of award winning books like the Newberry Medal and Caldecott Medal winners.
5. Make Reading Fun. No matter how silly you feel or if its "not your personality" making silly voices or being very animated while you read will make reading exciting and fun for your kids and they will want to do it more. My husband is the best at this and the kids love for him to read to them, isn't that the goal? To inspire a love of reading!
Did you know that only 60% of parents with children age 5 or younger read to their children daily? I totally understand that life can be busy and we forget to read. However, reading is vitally important for kids to expand their little growing minds. In her book zero to five Tracy Cutchlow says "Reading also presents by far the best opportunity to learn new words. We're not all that expansive when we talk. Children's books tend to use almost twice as many unusual words as college-educated adults do in conversation. A larger vocabulary helps children with schoolwork because they can spend more time understanding what they're reading and less time decoding words they're reading."
Here are a list of some of our family's favorite books. If you're feeling in a funk with reading I promise picking up a few new books at the library will make it fun again!
(starting at the top photo and moving down the post)
1. Go, Dog. Go!
10. The Giving Tree
What are your favorite Children's Books? I would love to hear in the comments.