Are you getting in enough bedtime reading with your children?
Don’t let the busyness of your family and work-life separate you from the wonders of snuggling up–with your child(ren) and a good book.
One of the best things that you can do with your children is to read bedtime stories together. There are many, many benefits, from establishing evening routines to building vocabulary and background knowledge. It’s never too early to start reading with your child. Babies learn to mimic the sounds of their native language this way and they delight in the opportunity to snuggle with an adult who is genuinely engaged in a shared experience with them.
As children get a little older, they can “read” pictures and point out things that are happening in books as they are being read. They also like to re-read books and the repetition this provides is essential to developing literacy skills. A bedtime reading routine also provides an incentive to toddlers who resist slowing down at the end of the day. No matter what age, when parents read with their children they teach active listening skills and positive interaction with literacy materials. They share values and interests about what is being read and show genuine interest in spending time with their child(ren).
Skip the e-book when you snuggle up with little ones. Children are still developing their tactile skills. A book like Pat the Bunny, for example, remains popular for babies because it encourages imaginative, interactive play (“Now you pat the bunny”) with the reading material. An e-book may be able to provide a multimedia experience, but for the literacy learner at bedtime, nothing beats real paper books. For toddlers and young school-age children, paper books show two pages simultaneously with illustrations. The experience of the book is designed for peak enjoyment that way. Imagine reading Make Way for Ducklings one “sheet” at a time when the illustrations that support the text extend across pages. Try the real thing instead!
Even more important than reinforcing literacy skills, when you read to your child(ren) you are sharing happy moments, and the books you choose can show valuable strengths in action as characters work through challenges to build resilience. Here are titles for your next 100 nights of snuggling!