From birth to adulthood, reading is a must. It is a very important skill for getting through tasks on a day-to-day basis; from something as simple as getting on the correct bus, to getting that 1000 word research paper to your boss. Reading to your child starting at a very early age sets the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
Reading to your Child as a Newborn
When your baby is first born, she will not understand the words you are reading to her, yet she is fascinated with the sound of your voice. By listening to you read, she is learning the basics of language, as well as communication. Reading to your child on a daily basis increases brain development and the brain’s capacity for language and literacy skills. You may not see the difference, but you are actually teaching your baby very important skills by reading to her on a regular basis. The more words she hears as an infant, the sooner she will understand them and speak herself, plus she just loves to hear your voice, so why not? The Dollywood Foundation, through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will give your child a free, age-appropriate book every month until your child is 5 years old. Click here to read more about it.
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Continuing to Read to your Child Throughout the Toddler stage
As your baby turns into a toddler, reading to your child becomes even more important. Your child will probably be speaking by now, if not soon. Hearing an adult pronounce and properly speak the words on the page as you read to him/her every night helps him/her to pronounce his own words. That doesn’t mean you can’t use silly voices and exaggerated motions while reading to your child! That just makes it more fun and exciting and encourages your child to want to be read to and ultimately read on his own.
It’s Never too Late to Start!
Even if your parents didn’t read to you when you were growing up, and you never really got into reading, it is never too late to start. Lots of people find the peaceful passion of reading as an adult and continue for the rest of their lives. If you are the parent of a 2, 5, even a ten-year-old, it is never too late to start. You can start reading to your child before bed and get in some extra cuddles, or you can start exercising the muscle by reading short stories while sitting on the couch. Either way, reading is good no matter when you start.
If you liked this post, you can see more from Brooke over at Mother Me Crazy.