Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Research shows that reading regularly to young children, especially those between ages 6 months and 5 years, is central to their overall growth and development. Reading provides time for special attention between parent and child, encourages the child's later reading success, and fosters language and speech development.
"When children share books with someone they love, like a parent, they will learn to love books," says Barry Zuckerman, M.D., a Boston pediatrician.
When these children enter the school system, they are ready to learn to read.
The following are tips for reading to your children.
Pick what you both enjoy
Look for books you both love: Ask friends, teachers or librarians; look for award-winning books; check book reviews; or have your children pick out their own books.
Get your child involved
Point out objects in the pictures as you read; look for activity books that let the child participate; have your child help turn the pages.
Follow the words with your finger so your child develops a sense that the words go from left to right.
Slowing down the pace will let your child keep up with the ideas presented in the story.
Look for repetition or rhymes in the stories.