I was having a discussion with some people at work about this very topic today so I thought I would reshare an old post. Be sure to check out the podcast of two lovely writer friends I posted at the end of this blog!
We have 3000+ books in our family library and out of those, 500+ are on the children’s bookshelf. As you can see I am a strong advocate for literacy and early childhood reading. I believe and encourage all young parents to read often to their children and to start reading to them during infancy. Don’t wait till they understand what a book is! As a matter of fact, I have no problems saying that I read to my son while he was in my womb. This often shocks new parents.
There are many benefits to reading early to your children. The obvious one is that it helps with language acquisition and literacy skills. A quick Google search will provide you with a plethora of research demonstrating that early reading will stimulate parts of the brain that are responsible for understanding the meaning of language, literacy, and social skills.
Early reading demonstrates left to right reading, how to turn pages and phonic awareness which are all great exercises for the brain. Reading also helps to enhance a child’s concentration, develops their imagination and creativity, and has the potential to create a thirst for knowledge.
One of the things I loved about reading with my son is that it provided us with some great conversations. As we identified with different characters, we would often explore the emotions we were feeling around what the character was experiencing, and the various places, animals, or cultures that we were seeing and interacting with in the books.
Ultimately this was great bonding time for us! When he got too old for me to read to him, we still found ourselves curled up on opposite ends of the couch or snuggling side-by-side while reading our books. As a matter of fact, I have included a picture of him reading the finished draft of Timothy’s Adventures with me.
P.S.: The last time he was home from University he asked me to read my work in progress to him, proving that you are never too old to be read to!
Early childhood literacy is SO IMPORTANT. Ari and I discuss that along with our favorite childhood books in a new episode of #TheMerryWriterPodcast! Give a listen: