Reading to children is a habit that parents should begin early. Reading to babies is an exceptional way to introduce and familiarize them with the sounds and rhythms of speech. When you read to children, it is an effective way of getting their full attention and nothing is comparable to that.

Reading plays a crucial role in children’s language development. Studies show that toddlers whose parents had been reading to them on a regular basis for a year could utter and understand more words compared to other toddlers whose parents did not read to them.  Most parents are convinced that early exposure to reading materials makes a lasting difference in children. It boosts their language abilities and makes them more eager to learn how to read and comprehend words.

The most important tip when sharing books with young children is to have fun together while learning. If these youngsters are involved and loving what they’re doing, then they are learning. When they have a favorable interaction with what they’re reading, they are in a process of developing good emotions and fondness towards reading. In this way, they will be motivated to pursue their passion for reading and literacy materials as they grow.

Let young children decide how much time you spend reading to them.  They can only listen and sit for a few minutes, but they will be able to sit longer as they begin to grow.  Let them explore the reading material in ways which would be fun and educational. It will be more interesting and the experience will be more meaningful.

All parents know that reading with children is necessary for their overall development. The question that most parents usually ask is “How do you know which baby and toddler books are right for your little ones?” It is vital to choose the correct and suitable books for your young children. Choosing a child’s book is a trial and error process because not all children are alike and not all will love the same books. Parents should consider the following when choosing the right books for their young children.

For babies and toddlers:

– They are attracted to brightly colored books with visually stimulating pictures.

– They respond well to books with simple words, texts, and good rhythms.

– They enjoy picture books with familiar things such as clothing, animals, and other babies.

-Choose chunky board books.  These are made of sturdy cardboard and good first books for babies and toddlers.  Also, simple picture books such as touch & feel books and  lift the flap books with animated and colorful pictures are engaging for little ones.

For preschoolers and kindergartners:

– Nursery stories and books with familiar objects are suitable for this age range.

– They like to listen to slightly complex texts with good rhythm and word repetition.

– They also enjoy toy-like books that pop up, move, or provide curiosity and astonishment.

As your child grows, he will be able to understand and enjoy longer books with pictures and stories.

The above mentioned tips will guide parents on how to have a healthy and fun reading experience with their youngsters. Encourage continuous language development and interest in books and reading by keeping the whole process lively and engaging. By doing this, your young children will develop the desire to engage in conversations and language development and eventually will become happy and confident readers in the process.

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Jo Ann Gramlich is an award-winning author and speech-language pathologist specializing in helping children with communication disorders in Buffalo, New York. She holds a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from SUNY Buffalo and has extensive experience in early intervention, preschool, and school settings. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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