Being a reader myself, I had started reading books to my both my kids at a very early stage.
Some parents think that the child is too small to even understand that this is a book or some say the baby cant even talk whats the use of reading now? But this is untrue. While the child is small, he/she still has the ability to learn things. Remember, first 5 years are the most crucial for your child’s brain development so don’t waste your time waiting for your child to grow up a little.
When you are reading a book to your child, it can be anything a picture book or sound book. The colourful pages and images excites the child and he/she is bound to get interested. Remember on thing, your child may not be able to speak but the he/she is registering what you are saying and gradually will pick up the words. Isn’t it the same way kids learn to talk. We don’t wait for them to grow and understand to teach them our language. Then why wait when it comes to reading. No baby is too small to be spoken to.
Here are some of the benefits of reading to your child:
- The child will grasp the sounds and words which will help in early language development.
- Stimulate brain development and curiosity.
- Dual language development. Your mother tongue can be different and you read a book in other language, say English. Your child will grasp both the languages as he/she grows.
- As your child grows, he/she will be fond of reading and books will be his/hers best friend.
To make your child enjoy their time with the book;
- Read to them slowly. Let the child understand the word and the sound. Don’t rush.
- Change your tone when reading a book. If its something exciting, show that expression in your voice as well. If its something sad, make a sad face to show the emotion attached to the word.
- Turn the pages slowly. This way you child will learn how to use a book.
- Buy books with bright colours and pictures.
- Set up a reading routine. Make sure everything around you is shut off to avoid distraction of the child.
- Make the child look in the book. This way he/she will know what is the word with the picture.
Early reading can make your child kindergarten ready. When we hand over an iPad or a phone in a kids hand to learn, we are taking away the interaction part of learning. Once this happens your child would prefer to spend more time with gadgets than with humans. But when you sit and read to your child and make this a bed time routine, this can help making bedtimes more smooth and can also lead to a life long habit. As your child is growing, don stop reading to them. The books will change but read to them as much as you can.