There are numerous benefits to reading to your children, even if they are very young. You’ll develop a closer bond to your child (there’s nothing like snuggling together reading a book) and your child will be exposed to words that you may not typically use in day-to-day life. In addition, children who are read to have a better aptitude for academics when they’re older, and they may have a larger vocabulary.
Summer Reading Programs
This summer, make learning fun for your toddler by joining one of the many summer reading programs available. Here are a few you may want to explore:
Your local library’s program. At our local library, children as young as one year old may participate in the summer reading program. The parent must read to the child at least 15 minutes a day and fill out a form documenting the reading time. Then, children who successfully complete the program receive a free book and a choice of other prizes.
Half Price Books’ Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program. Open to children 14 and under (including those under five who are too young to read themselves) this program requires that kids read 15 minutes a day through the months of June and July. (Toddlers can be read to.) The parent must fill out a form to document reading time. At the end of each month, bring in the completed log, and your child will receive $5 in HPB Bookworm Bucks. For more information, go here.
Another option is to take your child to story hour. The people presenting know how to engage young children, and they make reading fun by also taking the time to sing and do other fun activities.
Your local library’s story hour. Your local library likely has a story hour (or two) every week for toddlers. Some libraries even offer bilingual story hours.
Pottery Barn Story Time. Usually held every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., your child will get a stamp for attending. If she attends for five sessions, she’ll receive a prize. Make sure to first call your local Pottery Barn to confirm the story time schedule.
At Home Reading Activities
If you don’t live near a big city or just don’t have the time to go to a story hour, there are still activities that you can do at home. Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) offers a monthly calendar of fun activities to do with children under 5. For instance, their April calendar contains daily suggestions such as “Visit the library together and pick out books about shapes” and “Have your child ‘help’ you read a book today.”
This summer, have fun with your toddler playing outdoors, going swimming, and playing in the park, but also make time to read to him and create the love of reading at an early age.