Reading is so much more than simply a fun activity to do with your child. Young children’s minds are like sponges and they soak up everything they hear.
According to a study in the journal Pediatrics, children whose parents read to them frequently "had greater activity in brain areas supporting narrative comprehension and visual imagery, which are important for language and reading."
You can help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills by reading to them. Not only does reading help to spark your child's imagination and stimulate curiosity, it also helps your child's brain, social skills, vocabulary skills and communication skills develop!
In order to learn vocabulary and language, children need lots of exposure to new language and new words and books are a great way to do this. Reading gives you the opportunity to explain words to your child as you read a story and it also teaches vocabulary and grammar at the same time!
You can help make reading fun for toddlers by choosing interactive books like "Tickle Monster" or "Where is Baby's Belly Button."
Any book that is repetitive, lyrical, and relatively short is perfect for young children. Be sure to let your child turn the pages or help “read” by saying a repetitive word from the story.
Here is a list of some of my favorite books that encourage speech and language development:
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
Blue Hat, Green Hat, by Sandra Boynton
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, by Eric Carle
First 100 Words, by Priddy Baby
The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, by Eileen Christelow
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? By Dr. Seuss
Each Peach Pear Plum, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Very Cranky Bear, by Nick Bland
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen
The Three Billy Goats Gruff, by Peter Asbjornsen
Mouse was Mad, by Linda Urban
Iggy Peck Architect, by Andrea Beaty
Mouse Paint, by Ellen Still Walsh
Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina
The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson
Really any book by Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss or Sandra Boynton are great choices!
So grab a book, or ten, and have fun reading with your child!