Reading is an amazing way to increase your child’s ability to learn. Like any other skill, it takes time. Here are some basic steps on how we established a reading routine with Liz.
Start early. Even if your baby is small, having books around makes her feel comfortable and used to them. You can buy 3-5 page colorful or even black and white books, ideally with sensation inserts. Some links to books that worked early for us below:
Read as part of the bedtime routine. For us, every evening is like groundhog day. At 19:00 we start lowering down the lights, speaking a bit softer, reducing any excitements around her. Around 19:15 we go for a bath. At 19:45 she is all tucked in and ready for bed. As a rule, we read to her every night. We started when she was 3-4 months old. Even if you don’t get an immediate reaction, keep at it. She will enjoy this more and more as her brain continues to develop.
Listen to what she wants. Now that Liz is 18 months old, she is an active reader. She expresses interest to particular books, and we read the ones she selects. This reinforcing mechanism makes her feel included in the process. She understands that we hear her opinion and respond. Having beautiful and colorful books on different topics helps a lot. Here are some of the examples of what we have in our library:
We are grateful, that by starting early, we introduced Liz to books. Now she often extends reading into her activities during the day. She could be sitting for 15-20 minutes with a book, giggling, and smiling. She has some favorites that we read almost every night. Now that she sees dogs and cats outside and learns to say the words, these two books have definitely made her happy.