Reading is an incredible gift to give to your children. My children are obsessed with books and the stories that they hold. Reading takes place in our house in many different forms throughout the day. My husband or I read to them, they read with each other, they independently read, they read to me, we listen to books together, they see me reading, we go to the library, we organize our books and recommend books to each other. We have even begun to write our own books for each other.
Many experts say that the key to early literacy is being exposed to books and to have a text rich house. Several studies have expressed that children cannot even begin to read for themselves before being read 1,000 books. This has launched many libraries into developing 1,000 books before kindergarten projects.
The Bergenfield Project gives a wide rage of helpful tools in developing your own literacy rich home. If 1,000 books sounds like an overwhelming amount to read to your children do not despair! Many of us will reach that goal without even trying- one book a night for three yeas surpasses the 1,000 book benchmark, three books a day puts you at over a 1,000 books within a years time.
If you are having trouble engaging your little one in reading there are several tips you can try to lead your children into a more text rich life.
Give children books to read/ look at in the car
Preview a book with your children by looking at each picture and discussing them.
Verbally tell your favorite stories to each other
Discuss what you have read (even page by page)
Bring children to the library to chose their own books (I often guide my children in the right direction)
Create a “book club” where you share thoughts and ideas on different books while eating a snack (we usually set up a whole picnic on the ground)
Use puppet play as a way to inspire reading
Another important aspect of reading to your children is finding “just right” books to read to them. There are different features and areas of focus on when choosing a book for different age ranges. Below is a list of features to look for when choosing a book for your child.
Reading to children 1/2
Few words or sentences on each page
Flip up or movable features
Books with animal characters or baby characters
Books with textures for connecting words to the way an object feels
Reading to children 2/3
Counting and ABC books
Books with easy plots
Several sentences per page
Rhymes and repetition
Reading to children 3/4
More engaging plots
Fairy tales and fables
Beginner chapter books
Counting and ABC books
Books with real life issues that pertain to children that age
Reading opens up a new world for children. It exposes them to new ideas, thoughts, customs and so much more. The time I spend reading with my children is some of the best moments of my day. If you would like more information on how to develop a text rich life be sure to check out…..