Posted on Jun 25th 2019
Reading books to and with your children is one of the most important activities you can initiate as a parent. Not only does it create time for you to spend with them, but it also helps strengthen their mental development. Instilling a love of reading in them at a young age sets them up for success as a growing reader, and can help them establish cognitive, social, language, and expressive abilities. By introducing books to your child in their formative years, you can kindle a love of reading that will last them a lifetime. But with such a wide selection of books to choose from (which is definitely a good thing!), it can be difficult to decide which kinds of books are the most appropriate and will be the most influential for them. Narrowing down your options will help you select the perfect library of books for your children. Here are some of the best types of books to read to your children, brought to you by your friends at Romp n' Roll.
Wonderful new books that deserve a place in your child’s library are constantly hitting the shelves, but don’t get so caught up in the new that you forget to make space for some of your old favorites. Introducing your children to books that you loved when you were their age is a rewarding experience for both of you. Your children will be able to enjoy stories that are brand new and exciting for them; some could even end up becoming their future favorites to look back on. For you, you’ll get the chance to revisit books from your childhood, this time seeing them through the eyes of your children. Sharing these nostalgic stories with them will allow you to bond even further, and as you make new memories with your child it could even respark your love of reading as well!
When reading to and/or with older children that are ready for deeper, more thought-provoking matters, select some books that are applicable and relevant to both them individually and the current world around them. Kids are drawn to books that resonate with them and their surroundings. Seeing stories that depict children just like them in real scenarios that they have or may eventually encounter will help them feel understood, and show that they aren’t alone in their experiences. And books that directly issues such as race, religion, lifestyles, and various societies in a way that will make sense to their age group will expose them to diverse cultures, complex societal subjects, and the life experiences of people who they may not interact with on a day-to-day basis.
If your child isn’t quite old enough to fully understand story-driven books just yet, try the interactive entertainment of participation books instead. It’s a great way to introduce young children to books before they actually begin reading. They’ll enjoy repeating the simple actions the books prompts, such as clapping their hands, counting on their fingers, making a funny face, lifting up flaps, playing with popouts, and reading certain words or letters out loud. These type of books encourage children to engage with their book, which can make understanding the concept of reading easier later on.
Children have a natural love for creativity, and books are one of the best ways to help cultivate that capability so it can continue developing into adulthood. Find books that will inspire their imagination. Fairy tales, sci-fi, fantasy, and folktales will acquaint your children with people, places, times, and situations beyond their own experiences (perhaps even beyond the limits of reality) while also often incorporating an important moral theory or lesson to be learned. Exposing them to these genres at an early age will help them explore their imagination and curiosity, and it will provide a foundation for them to cultivate the techniques they’ll need as they grow older to express themselves creatively.