With International Literacy Day just gone by, I thought of sharing this beautiful piece on how reading can help raise great readers. It’s very important to start early and there is no definition for early because it’s never too late to pick up a good habit. I would like to start with a beautiful quote by George RR Martin on reading, he says, ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads, lives only one’. Thus itself clarifies the importance of reading.
I’ve always loved to read like many of you reading my article today because if you did not like reading, you wouldn’t be here! And I promised myself, if I had anything to pass on to my daughter, it would sure be my love for reading. She’s just into her toddler hood stage now and I thought what better time to introduce her to books. I got her books that were definitely over her age but I never bothered. I was fine even if she turned pages of flaps of the book covers because that’s how I would have sown the seed for reading info her.
Thankfully, that’s what happened. I started with introducing peekaboo books to her when she turned one. I got her peekaboo zoo and farm animals, also touch and feel book by Eric Carle. Peekaboo books have beautiful illustration of these huge animals with rhyming words to form soothing sentences that will make children laugh. She used to turn the flap and watch each animal. I used to read the little sentences to her and call out the names of each animal to her. Slowly she stared to grasp. The touch and feel books are another great start with young toddlers because they love to feel and explore everything. So, she would touch those furry animals like rabbit, sparkling Sun, bumpy head octopus, rugged caterpillar and so much more. Eventually, she started showing interest and I was super elated.
I got her some more puzzle books of wild and sea animals. Puzzles as small as 4 cut outs for each animal. Though, she still hasn’t got the hang of it as she’s too young for it. But at least, she’s learnt the animals and points out to them calling out names by herself. Nothing goes in vain.
Every single moment that you’ve invested on your child is there to stay. I suggest you to make a corner at your home strictly dedicated for books and reading time. Like I have chosen her toy room for it; I have used one corner of the room to hang her book shelf on the wall with books in place and a small table chair for her age just next to the shelf. So she knows go sit there and check out her books every time she wants to read. She also has learnt to put the books back in place once she’s done. This way you are not only raising a reader but also a disciplined child.
You may also try bed time stories which is very common in many houses. Don’t ever think my toddler or baby is not going to understand or is too young. Many parents start reading stories to their children when they are as young as 6 months. This must be surprising but there’s no right or wrong time with books. My daughter is 18 months old now and naturally doesn’t understand long sentences. But I have fetched a princess book of bed time stories for her and read it out to her every night before bed. Now, she has also started associating story time to sleep time following soon after that. She loves to look at those large pictures in the book and spots things in there all by herself now. She also points out to apples, candles, rain, moon, stars, Princess, etc., in the book. So this way, she’s also learning to spot different things and learning language plus images. Spotting different things in the book is another great book for toddlers. Parents can point out to teach them what those images are called.
Lastly, never forget to start early and never think it’s too early to start. Every time is the right time for reading. Remember to raise positive readers.
Happy Reading and Happy Parenting with Budding Star 🙂
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