My niece has just had a new baby in the last month and the excitement is wonderful to see and feel. She however is in Florida and I am in Minnesota so it will be awhile before I can actually hold this new bundle of joy.
My excitement from so far away is now the books. So many books! Which books should they be sharing with her now? Which ones to move to as she grows?
Her mother has stated on Facebook she want to read to her daily. Yes! It is what is needed for all children. Nerdy Book Club has a great article on this topic today. ( Check it out here.)
I know so many children who have walked into my classroom that have not been read to. They think they know stories from TV shows or movies but that means they don’t really understand print. I have also found it means they don’t really know the story. When children are watching movies or TV alone they are often times not processing what they see and hear. They are playing, talking, moving in and out of the room but seldom are thing thinking, processing and most important discussing this story.
Even as an infant the child picks up your emotions and love of a book. They hear your voice and bond with you and the words. They watch and learn as pages are turned, pictures are pointed to and you have your own little discussion about what you see. Infants pick up very quickly the love of books if you love.
All of this can be found in research but I also want to make the point that children, infants as well, need to see their parents reading. They need to know that reading is important as you grow older. It isn’t something we just do with our kids.
We often forget the modeling we must do as well. Kids love books because their parents are readers. They love books because their parents go to the library, the book store, and they talk about books that are important to them. They see their parents as readers and then they want to do what their parents do.