Reading to your children should start early. Really early. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting as soon as your children are born.
Reading stimulates brain development and language skills, as well as fostering a closer emotional bond between parents and children. Remember these tips:
- Read widely. Infants respond to voices around them, so start out by reading anything that’s handy—sports pages and cookbooks will do, as well as very simple picture books.
- Ask questions. As your child grows older, get him or her involved. Ask them what they think will happen next, or why a character behaved that way. You’ll start teaching some basic critical thinking skills, and you’ll make the experience more enjoyable.
- Read every day. Make reading a regular activity. Don’t just limit it to bedtime. Bring a book with you to doctor’s appointments and the store so you can read while waiting.