-I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once. –C.S. Lewis
Beginning a routine of reading to your children can have many benefits. Reading to your children from early on in their life creates the love of reading, but the love for reading can begin anytime.
When I had my first child I couldn’t wait to read to him and already had a small library of books started. Nothing can replace the sweet connection you make with your child while holding them in your lap reading them a story. They experience what it feels like to be loved and safe and you create some great memories. When I had my second baby, not only did I have the connection of reading to him but many times while the baby would be sitting in the swing his four year old brother would sit next to him and read him a book.
Some of the first books we read were:
- Goodnight Moon
- Just In Case You Ever Wonder
- Are You My Mother?
- Guess How Much I Love You
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Moo, Baa, La, La, La! (This one made them laugh hysterically)
- Dr. Seuss (too many to list them all)
I read a great article recently at The Literacy Site; about the importance of reading to young children and how the simple structure of picture books is exposing them to more words than simply talking to them and this is doing something important for children.
As my boys got older and began reading, story time changed and we would all take turns reading. This helped them get the practice they needed to learn reading in a safe atmosphere. They didn’t have to worry about making mistakes and it gave them the confidence to read out loud in class when they began school.
Reading introduces children to new people and worlds and exploring their imagination. When we read we would use different voices for each character and bring ourselves into the story with our imagination. Stories can help teach: patience, generosity, love, understanding differences, and sometimes help with solutions to real life problems. Reading teaches children that anything is possible.
As my kid’s got older, I was able to read some of my favorites from when I was younger. We read Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and C.S. Lewis. We read old classics and new discoveries, they found out: How to Eat Fried Worms, and what happens when you drink Freckle Juice. Some of their favorites as they read included:
- Geronimo Stilton
- A to Z Mysteries
- Magic Treehouse Books
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
- All of the Rick Riordan series
- The 39 Clues
Above all else it is important to them. I have a thirteen year old now and even though he is venturing off into his own independent world, at night before bed he will still ask me, “Are we going to read tonight?”
So my challenge for you is: start a tradition and even if you begin with a couple nights during the week, pick a fun book and pile on a bed or the couch with your children and read. You will never have more fun! What were some of your favorite books when you were younger?