Developing a Baby's Love of Reading
What can a child learn from books as an infant or toddler?
There are endless benefits from reading to your child. As an infant, your child will love listening to the tone and rhythm of your voice and looking at the pictures you point to and identify. Your child will enjoy looking at and holding picture books, even if he or she is not yet able to actually follow the story. And, in addition, books expose your child to vocabulary, word use, and picture identification—all of which foster language development. Listening to stories also helps to focus and lengthen your child's attention span, while your child tries to make sense of the story and expand his or her imagination by guessing what comes next.
How does reading now help later in life?
In addition to language development skills, reading acts as an emotional outlet for readers. Books can provide a child with a way to deal with intense emotions and fears. It puts those concerns into words and offers them comfort in learning about characters in similar situations.
How can I encourage my child to be a lifelong reader?
Children learn to be lifelong readers from their adult role models. So, be sure you read often, both on your own and to your child. When your child sees you reading and enjoying a book, you are providing a positive message about the important role that reading has in your life. Introduce your child to the local library and make trips there regularly to see the various types of books and the multitude of subjects available. Books can take you into a king's castle, swimming with a school of fish or into outer space! You can go anywhere!
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