READ TO THEM! SEEMS SIMPLE, DOESN'T IT?
As a fellow parent, former teacher, and author, one of my passions is to help kids become successful adults: capable of achieving whatever they can dream. To have healthy bodies, sound minds, and be grounded in spiritual truths are the best of goals for today's children.
Even when a child is a newborn, playing music, singing to them, play, and reading aloud are important ways to bond and introduce them to their world. You aren't teaching them to read at this point, but you are certainly giving them a love for reading. Stories are powerful. And, this love will go far when education begins in earnest. The best books will teach them great character qualities as well. That is one of the goals of my early chapter book series: Bandana Acres.
Try to read to your kids about 20 minutes a day. As they get older, they may be able to listen even longer. Bedtime stories are the best! Up until about 10 years old, my kids loved my reading to them anytime, but the bedtime story was never forgotten. Then, they started reading for themselves and still read regularly as adults.
Here are some suggestions for what to read to certain ages. But, read anything they enjoy!
- From birth to 1 year: lullabies, song books, cloth books (with textures), and board books (with real pictures)
- From 1-3 years: Rhyming books (i.e. Dr. Seuss), song books, short story board books
- From 3-5 years: Books with the alphabet, color, shapes, song books, picture books, more rhyming books
- From 5-8 years: Non-fiction and fiction picture books (discovering the difference between real and fantasy), still rhyming books, early chapter books (with illustrations) like the Bandana Acres series, and chapter books (fewer illustrations)