Blog / Literacy In Life

by Marguerite Malone,
December 01, 2014

We read the time, the news, ingredients, menus, traffic signs, medication, school work, manuals, birthday cards, grocery lists, names, books, schedules, calendars, magazines, internet websites, etc... I cannot even begin to name all of the things we read. It's safe to say we read everything. I cannot even begin to imagine living in this world without being able to read, yet illiteracy is a huge world wide pandemic.

Growing up my parents read to me every single day. I can remember begging for them to read just one more book at bedtime. Little did I know the positive impact this quality time would have on my future.

Children who are constantly read to as infants and toddlers learn at a very young age how to hold a book. They know that the words go left to right and that there is a title to the story. Sitting still to read a book teaches a child about patience and helps them build longer attention spans. By the end of kindergarten children are expected to read short words and sentences and the expectations are only getting harder. Imagine being a child entering kindergarten and not even knowing how to hold a book. This child will have a lot of hurdles to jump over before even beginning to learn to read.

Reading also expands a child's world knowledge while fostering a love of reading and learning. I was blessed to travel throughout the United States as a child and my children have been able to do the same. It is such a foreign idea to me that some grown adults, let alone children, have never even left the city they live in. Reading to a child teaches them about the world they live in even if they cannot see it for themselves.

Aside from the gift of literacy, reading to your child is an excellent bonding time for a child and parent. It gives you time to connect through fairy tales and facts. Traveling through the world together just by reading a few pages. The adventures will create a lasting loving memory for both you and your child.

It's not always easy to know what books are age appropriate for your child. You can certainly read paper books to your little one but I love cardboard books for one to two year olds. They are sturdy enough for kids to manhandle and chew on.

Age appropriate books for a

1 & 2 year old are:

• Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

• The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

• Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? By Bill Martin Jr.

3 & 4 year olds:

• Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss

• Are You My Mother by Dr. Seuss

• The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

• We're Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

5 & 6 year olds:

• Frog and Toad All Year Round by Arnold Lobel

• The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

• When I Grow Up by Philip Simpkins

• Mom! What's that? By Atlas Jordan

• Children of The Forest by Elsa Beskow

Pick up a book, pull your child into you lap and dive into an adventure! You are your child's greatest gift.


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