Three Helpful Tips for Reading to Young Children
by Marie Ann Lopez
Can you spare 15 minutes? What if I told you it will change your child’s life. Yes! Reading fifteen minutes a day can change your child’s life. In the early stages of their lives, children build solid foundations and develop very important skills.
It is no surprise that reading is an essential part of a child’s development. Research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics proves that reading to children starting at birth has tremendous benefits. Dr. Pamela High wrote a policy based on the research detailing the benefits of the study. According to the study reading positively impacts areas of the brain related to “narrative comprehension and mental imagery in preschool children”. She describes reading to young children as a “vehicle for assessing how well the child is doing developmentally” and simultaneously “for assessing the relationship between the parent and the child.”
The national campaign “Read Aloud 15 MINUTES” calls on parents to take at least fifteen minutes to engage their children in reading, beginning at birth. There is so much to gain. Reading will be a way for you and your child to share an enlightening and fun experience. The following tips will hopefully make reading even more exiting each day:
- Sometimes it might seem hard to get a child to become interested in reading. Just remember it all starts with you. Set the tone by showing your child how exciting it can be to enter the magical world of reading. Reading can certainly teach your child about our world but it can also help them embark in a journey of endless possibilities with their imagination. They might just need you to lead the way!
- Now that you’ve sparked your child’s interest, you can’t stop there! In order to keep your child engage and attentive it helps to be expressive and interactive. Tap into your inner child and delve into the story becoming The Very Hungry Caterpillar or even becoming one of the Three Little Pigs. This is your chance to express your creative side and when applicable point out those colorful pictures so that they can follow along. Or maybe your child is a physical learner in which case sometimes keeping your child engaged means giving them the book to hold and using books that are pop up and physically enabling. Allow them to take charge and become a part of the story. Have your little one act out his favorite parts of the book.
- Above all, it is important to be consistent. Make a habit of reading to your child each day. Perhaps at the same time and accompanied by something else that you must do everyday such as dinner or bedtime. As it becomes part of their daily routine, children will look forward to spending quality time reading. It is certainly good to have different choices so that your child does not get bored but don’t worry! Chances are that your little one will be consistent and might want to re-read the same book over and over again.
So what are you waiting for? Your reading adventures begin today.
- “Read Aloud – Importance of Reading Aloud.” Read Aloud – Importance of Reading Aloud. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.
- “Toddler Reading Time.” KidsHealth. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.
- “I Is for Infant: Reading Aloud to Young Children Benefits Brain Development.” PBS. PBS, 24 June 2014. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.
- “Parent Child Reading and Story Time Promote Brain Development Prior to Kindergarten.” Parent Child Reading and Story Time Promote Brain Development Prior to Kindergarten. N.p., 03 Aug. 2015. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.
- “Home Reading Environment and Brain Activation in Preschool Children Listening to Stories.” Home Reading Environment and Brain Activation in Preschool Children Listening to Stories | Articles | Pediatrics. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.
- Willingham, Daniel T. Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass & Pfeiffer Imprints, Wiley, 2015. Print.