By Kathryn Trudeau
Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and as one of the most beloved children’s authors of all times, what a fitting way to celebrate his birthday reading to your kids.
In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of reading out loud to your kids and how to fit more reading into your daily schedule.
Why You Should Read to Your Kids
What’s cozier than cuddling up on the couch with a big pile of books? It’s a comforting and cozy way to spend the afternoon, no doubt. But the benefits of reading extend far beyond “cozy.”
Reading out loud to your children (of any age):
- Improves the parent-child relationship
- Creates feelings of closeness
- Can help your child fall asleep in a relaxed state
- Expands their vocabulary
- Introduces children to new themes and concepts
- Educates children on new topics
- Improves their language skills
- Improves listening skills
- Builds memory
- Provides a positive outlet for managing stress
- Builds positive association with reading and learning
Even reading out loud to a baby who can’t yet speak is beneficial. You can use picture books to start teaching your baby words for everyday objects. As your children get older, there’s no need to stop reading out loud. Even when your child learns to read on his own, he still benefits from listening to you read.
There’s no denying that reading is good for your child’s development (and for your relationship!). The tricky part is trying to find more time to read throughout the day!
5 Ways to Fit More Reading into Your Day
Reading a book (or two or three) before bed is one of the most popular options for reading to your child, but reading doesn’t have to be limited to your bedtime routine. You can and should read at bedtime, but consider these other ideas too:
- Start the day with a book! Instead of watching TV while everyone eats breakfast, grab a book and read while your little ones are eating their breakfast.
- Keep a book in your diaper bag: Waiting to pick the big kids up from school? Read to the baby. Waiting a few minutes before your play date starts? Read to your baby. Waiting in line at the grocery store? Let your baby look at a board book.
- Read in the tub: Is your toddler playing in the tub? Let him splash around while you sit on the floor next to the tub with a book. Bonus points if you choose a bath-themed story!
- The interactive book reading: Are your kids getting antsy? Get mid-day wiggles out by reading an interactive book. As you read, have your child act out the story.
- Skip the nighttime TV: After dinner, pile on the couch and read a few stories as the day winds down.
Tips: These above ideas do not have to be long reading sessions. Even a short book here and there continues to exposure your child to all of the benefits of reading.
So here’s the real question: which Dr. Seuss book will you be reading today?
Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at www.katietrudeau.com
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