This week we had Read a Book Day and we also mourned the loss of "Llama, Llama" author Anna Dewdney. So it is fitting that we focus on reading with our kids.
We have all heard that reading to your kids is good for them. It helps develop language understanding, early literary skills and help kindle their imagination. Also reading aloud to children gives them the opportunity to practice listening. And who’s kid doesn’t need more practice listening!
I can remember both of my parents reading to me while I was young. It even continued as I got a little older and my parents would read young adult novels to me like “The Indian in the Cupboard”, “Bunnicula” and the Young Indiana Jones series. I wasn’t behind on my reading skills, they just liked to read to me. It was a good for all of us. Reading aloud is not only good for your kids, it is good for you too.
Now I am a parent and I love to read aloud to my son. We have several shelves of books that have spilled out onto a table that has spilled out onto the floor. Every night before bed, he gets to choose two books from a stack in his room. At any point in the day he’ll grab a book and bring it to me or my wife and ask us to read it. And we both take the time to read to him.
From my experience reading to him is a wonderful time for him to learn and for us to connect over tales of pirate ships, llamas and farming adventures. When we connect over these stories we connect as family. The shared experience of reading brings us closer in our parent-child relationship. Generally my son will sit in my lap when we read and my arms come around him as if I am hugging him for the duration of the story. This bonding time is invaluable for infants and preschoolers.
I am going to miss this time when it passes. Make sure you read to your kids today.
Reading is good for everyone in your family, but you don’t have to take my word for it. (Find out more here.)
Here are some of my favorite children’s books: