Learning begins as soon as your baby is born. They are learning what you look and smell like, how to live in the world, and how to get what they want. Some of the best things you can do for your baby, outside of feeding and loving on them, is developing habits they will take with them into early childhood and beyond. Reading to newborns may seem silly, but research suggests reading to babies as early as day one has significant affect on their growing brains. They start being more observant, developing patterns, and, possibly the most important, you strengthen your bond with your child.
Literacy is extremely important. Being able to read opens up many important opportunities, allows for educational advancement, and creates a creative imagination in kids. Literacy success starts at birth. Your baby can start comprehending words beginning at just seven months! Before that, it’s mostly about bonding with your child and developing the habit of sitting down and spending that time together reading. It is so important to your child’s development to start reading to them early. Kids who are read to are exposed to more words, sounds, and phrases, increasing their brain’s development! Kids who hear more words have statistically done better on standardized tests that kids who aren’t read to.
Books also help children with concentration and focus. We all know how easy it is to become distracted with other things while we’re reading (I bet you’ve checked your phone a few times just while reading this article!) but your focus and dedication to making the time to read to your kids will help their ability to concentration at school as well.
Reading is also important for children to understand emotions and empathy. Seeing oneself in a story character and learning from the book’s theme can begin as early as 18 months old. If you’re trying to teach your child a lesson about empathy and compassion, start with a book! There are tons of books on potty training, doing chores, having a brother or sister, and more.
Kids crave your time. They look to you for attention and love. When you read to them, you’re telling them there is nothing more important than them at that time. When you can bond over the love of a good book, that shared emotion is so palpable. They will remember it forever, and hopefully gain a love for reading that you taught them!
Not sure where to start? Below is a list of our favorite books for kids of all ages. Amazon has great book prices, but we encourage you to check out some local bookstores in your area as well! Hit up a secondhand store like Goodwill for more inexpensive options. We love the Dolly Parton Imagination Library as well! They send kids one free book every month from birth until age five. It’s an awesome program that is also helping literacy rates skyrocket all over the country.
Here are a few options for your kids!
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