A child’s first years of life are the most important when it comes to brain development. Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that reading to a child in early infancy can boost vocabulary and reading skills before elementary school. Plus, it’s all about creating that healthy routine of reading and spending time together. Your little one will benefit from feeling nurtured and loved by hearing your voice, and will start to build early language skills and a sense of connection with you.
How can we promote reading at home? Here are a few suggestions from Miao, our fellow Dandelion educator & storyteller, who is also a mummy to 2 toddlers.
Set aside time to read to the little one regularly. You can start with 5 minutes before bedtime. Do it at a time that is most convenient for you (for example, I read to my elder girl when her baby sister naps in the afternoon).
Set up a cosy corner at home for reading. Place books within reach of the little ones. You can pick some books for display purposes and rotate them from time to time. This corner should be kept away from gadgets like the television and computers.
Read to the little ones as often as possible. When they request for you to read to them, try to do it if time permits. I have yet to come across any child who dislikes stories.
4) Pack a book in your bag
What do you do when you are waiting for your coffee at Starbucks with your little ones? Or when you are dining out and waiting for dishes to be served? Whip out that book and keep the little ones occupied! It works well too when you are trying to conduct adult conversations!
5) Model reading
You may not be an avid reader, but it certainly leaves an impression whenever your little ones see you read!
6) Choose books based on their interests and preferences
Involve your little ones when you are picking books in the library or in bookstores. If you worry about their choices, consider offering them a few titles and get them to pick from there. Now that is a win-win situation!
Register for our Interactive Hands-On Reading & Book Selection Workshop to get expert advice and ideas on how to embark on an exciting lifelong reading journey with your little one! This is followed by a very useful session on how to pick the best books most suitable for your child. Have a personal book shopper right beside you, leading you into the wonderful world of Chinese children's books, and picking out the best reads for your little one!