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Reading Aloud to Children

March 19th, 2012
Bonnie · Staff Recommendations

You don’t have to wait for your baby to be a certain age to begin reading to them. You can start anytime. Start now! Don’t stop until they are at least 10 years old. Do it often and make it an enjoyable experience for both of you. They will benefit from listening to you read long after they have learned to read themselves. Babies feel comforted not just by snuggle time. They also enjoy the colored, simple images that are featured in books. Reading aloud to babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children provides so many benefits. It stimulates their imagination, improves their attention span, promotes listening skills, lets them hear and learn strange, new words, and can instill in them a love of reading and of books. I recommend reading Mother Goose rhymes often, as they provide great rhythms and rhymes. Many teachers still want entering Kindergartners to have a good knowledge of them. I found out that the hard way. When I did start reading Mother Goose to my son, I remembered how much I had enjoyed them as a child, even if some of the words were not really in use anymore. The rhythm, humor & rhyme hook them.

When you begin reading aloud to a baby, don’t worry that you can only keep your baby’s attention for a few minutes, that’s normal. Start slowly. Let them get a feel (literally) for a book. Babies and toddlers love board books – the books with the thick pages. For older children, try to find books that match what your child is interested in at that time and you can take turns reading sentences, pages or even chapters together. Find the Dora books, Thomas books, Little Einstein books, Transformers books, Superhero books, the libraries have them! There is a book for every child’s interest, and they might develop a new interest based on what YOU choose to read to them.

The library has the best selection (in my humble, librarian opinion) so come on over. I am including a list of a just a few of my recommendations, some classic, some new. They are all in our library. Try some. Read aloud to a child & you will see the benefits. Happy readings –

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