By: Sarah Meikle/
With March being Reading Month, now is the perfect time to ask yourself as a parent; do I read aloud to my child enough?
Reading aloud to your child is more than a great bonding experience. Children who are read to aloud get a head start in language and literacy skills. Preparing them for success in Kindergarten and beyond! You are your child’s first and most important teacher, and it is never too early to start adding reading into your daily routines. Did you know that what occurs during the first 5 years of your child’s life has a huge impact on how well your baby learns and grows throughout their lifetime? That’s why it is so important to start early and read often!
When my son was four months old we started a bedtime routine, which included reading aloud just before he went to bed. There was very little interaction in the beginning, but we knew the importance and kept going night after night. Shortly after, we added reading into our daily routine as well. While we watched him grow we watched his excitement grow when he knew it was time to read! I would find him in his room babbling away with a book in his hand. Before we knew it he was two and only saying a few basic words, until one night while reading one of his favorite books he started reading it aloud! Now he’ll have us read a book for a week’s till he has it memorized and he’s reading it aloud to us! He’s five years old now and still loves his books and now reads to his three year old sister! There’s never a day that goes by that we don’t sit down and read aloud all together as a family. It’s one of our favorite times of the day. It allows us to focus on nothing else but the book in our hand and the memories we are making!
There are so many ways you can incorporate reading into your lives too. Here is a list of tips on how you can do just that.
- Story time before bed. A story before bed is a great way to help wine down for the night and to establish a healthy bedtime routine.
- Afternoon story time followed by a craft. This allows for some great imagination, it’s a wonderful way to have the story come to life!
- Library Story time. This is also a great way for you and your child to meet new friends!
- Literacy events. Places like the CEMaT offer free events with crafts and games inspired by children’s books.
- Playgroups. Check into your local playgroups. It’s another way for you and your child to meet new friends and many of the playgroups offer story times.
Make a difference in your child’s life by reading aloud at least 15 minutes a day!
Sarah Meikle is a Parent Liaison for Lenawee Great Start. She was raised in Adrian where she attended Madison Schools. She now resides in Tecumseh with her husband Andrew and two children, Camden and Kaylee.