Research in the last decade has shown that when parents read to their children, especially when they were babies, these children tend to read earlier and are more avid readers later in school. As parents of young children, we should all strive to achieve the positive effects of reading aloud to children by reading to our children for at least 20 minutes a day. Twenty minutes equates to approximately 2 – 4 stories, depending on the reading level of the child. The good news is this 20 minutes of reading time can be cumulative, which means it can be broken up through out the day – 5 minutes here, or 10 minutes there.
Further studies also indicate that students with higher reading scores were more likely to report they had encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers and at least 25 books in their home. Having books and magazines at home is important. But how do you know what books to choose for your child? Here are some tips for getting good books for young children of all ages.
How To Choose Books For Babies And Young Children
Some books help children build morals and confidence as they join in with a repeated rhyme. Others jump-start the imagination with tales about talking animals or an aunt who flies. Books about familiar objects, people, and events are reassuring to young children, while books with unfamiliar topics can excite them about new ideas and places.
Where To Get Books
Children’s books can be expensive and children tend to outgrow even their favorite books quite quickly. You should consider borrowing books from the public library to start with. Many libraries now offer board books for infants and toddlers plus picture books for preschoolers. Garage sales and sales conducted by libraries are good sources of inexpensive books. Or you can organize a book exchange in your neighborhood or preschool so children can trade books. Discount stores, bookstores and Internet book sellers all have bargain sections or run specials. Your parent educator or librarian may also have suggestions for sources of inexpensive or free books in your area.
Where To Keep Books
Your children’s precious books should be kept in a place that is easily accessible for them. Shelves should not be too high up or easily reachable with a stool. You may wish to buy a small bookcase where they can be proudly displayed. Nothing is more gratifying to a child then having them choose the book they want you to read and this decision is made simpler if they are neatly placed at their eye-level. Having a large cardboard box that the child is allowed to decorate with artwork or doodling is another option. Although you may want only those books with hardcover in such a box to avoid serious damage.
What Makes A Good Book
Apart from nice big solid fonts for the words, and plenty of colorful pictures, good books for young children need to be well made and durable. Young children like to really explore their favorite books, carrying them around, tugging on the pages, and even biting them. As a child grows older, he or she will enjoy photographs or realistic pictures which help them relate the book to familiar things in their environment. Preschoolers are attracted to a wide variety of pictures or graphics in books. Good stories with interesting characters and a plot with lots of action also appeal to preschoolers, whereas babies and toddlers are interested in books with just a few words on the page or ones that label objects in the pictures. Choose books for all ages that picture people with a variety of cultures, races, physical abilities or occupations.
When To Give A Book
You don’t have to wait for Christmas or Birthdays for a new book! But where an occasion calls for a gift, give a book instead. Encourage your child to choose a book as a souvenir on a family trip. Encourage aunts, uncles, grandparents or other relatives to help build your child’s personal library. If possible allow the giver to have the pleasure of reading the book to your child for the first time. Buy books as gifts for baby showers, children’s birthday parties, or holiday gifts. No matter when you give your child a book, you are helping build a love of reading.