It’s Storytime!

One of my favorite pastimes is reading.  When I was a young girl, I would check out the maximum allowed books at a time and then return for more before the given due date.  Then as a new mom, I discovered my passion for reading to my kids.  This type of reading is very different from reading alone.  It’s more interactive and can be very entertaining.  I found that reading was a great way to connect and bond with my children, and at the same time, it provided my girls with the foundation for learning and building creativity.

There are many benefits to reading, for both kids and adults.  Reading can help us overcome stress, protect us from memory decline, increase empathy, and improve comprehension and language skills. Some studies have shown that keeping our minds active by engaging in a stimulating activity, such as reading, can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  Therefore, it’s important to instill a love for reading at an early age so that we can reap the benefits for years to come.   And it’s fun!     

Here are some tips to make reading enjoyable for you and your kids.

  • Start reading to your kids at an early age.  Young children won’t have a long attention span, but short picture books will suffice.  As they get older, reading time can increase.    

  • Provide a positive home reading environment.  Express a good attitude towards reading.  Let them know how much you find it to be rewarding.  Expand their horizon and vocabulary by supplying your child with various types of books.        

  • Make it a routine.  Bedtime is a favorite!  It’s a great way to decompress after a long day and spend quality time together.  These are memories you and your child will treasure for a lifetime.  

  • Be curious.  Get kids thinking by asking what they suppose will happen in the next page or two.  Will the mouse get the cookie?  What do you think he’ll want next?  The more interested you seem, the more intrigued they become.

  • Use funny voices.  Use a variety of voices for different characters.  I personally loved Charlie and Lola by English writer, Lauren Child, since it gave me a chance to perfect my British accent!  And in a kid’s voice at that!  

  • Point and sound out words.  Recent research shows preference for sounding out words like C-A-T, rather than memorizing the whole word.  Pointing helps children learn the process of reading from left to right and top to bottom.  Reading aloud and pointing is a great tool in guiding kids to make the connection between letters, words, and meaning.

As the weather cools, snuggle up and read a good book with your kids.  Or if you feel the need to get out and interact with others, story time at a local bookstore is a great way to meet other parents and children of similar age. Kids grow up way too fast, and they’ll be reading on their own before you know it.  So take the opportunity while you can!  You’re building memories with your kids and making a difference in their overall well-being and health.