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As a Barefoot Books Ambassador, former teacher and mother, I am always looking for studies about the benefits of literacy in children. It is always said that the earlier parents start reading to their children, the better. In addition, Pediatricians are now prescribing books to their patients, in order to promote literacy.
I totally understand that in this day in age, it is difficult to read to our children, but we should make our best effort to set a time every day or night to spend at least 10-15 minutes and read to our children. Create a routine before bedtime, or sometime after breakfast if your child is with you during the day, and you are a Stay at Home Mom.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Reading out loud with your kids every day, from infancy, is like food for their developing brains, and pediatricians should prescribe books at every office visit, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Babies’ brains are still developing and are processing a lot of information, by choosing high contrast, rhythmic, and interactive books, we can start nurturing their desire to learn, and their future love for reading.
Some examples of books that Barefoot Books offers are:
Baby’s First Words – It also comes in Spanish. In this board book, babies learn over 100 early vocabulary words with a toothy toddler and her two dads! Perfect for babies up until age 3 years.
Peek-a-Boo Set – These cute board books feature peek-a-boo holes for storytime play. The children are invited to look through the holes on every other page to answer the repeating questions.
Nursery Rhyme Set – These cute little board books promote intuitive guessing, which is one of the key points for reading and writing.
Baby Basics Set – The adorable board books set introduces letters, numbers, and opposites! The board books are interactive for the child to practice their newly acquired skills.
Almost any book can be made an interactive way, you just need to be creative (i.e use funny voices, dramatize). Singalongs are the perfect books for optimal interaction for little children. Singalongs books are perfect for physical movement, auditory memory, rhythmic words and repeated text which are optimal for future readers.
Some perfect Singalongs Books are:
Animal Boogie – One of Barefoot Books’ best sellers, where children can dance down in the jungles of India, where 6 colorful creatures are jumping and jiving beneath the canopy.
If You’re Happy and You Know It! – Barefoot Books’ multicultural version of the traditional song, where children from cultures all over the world clap their hands, stomp their feet, pat their heads, and much more.
Knick Knack Paddy Whack – Barefoot Books’ version of the traditional tune that introduces instruments and counts from one to ten. There are educational notes about instrument families as well as a simple music score at the end.
For more Singalong Books, click here.
Allow Toddlers to Pick Their Own Books
This tip reminds me of the Montessori Method where
“.. education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.”
By letting our children pick the books that they want you to read, it makes them part of their learning process, and not just an expectator. If you are going to follow the Montessori Method, this method promotes that the child’s learning needs to be based on “real-life” activities, the method does not promote fantasy-like stories (i.e. animals dressed and acting like humans), or caricature picture books.
Barefoot Books does not have any “real-life” books, but these books are similar to the Montessori Method in the sense that they talk about “real-life” activities, which can help you start this journey:
My Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words – This book also comes in Spanish and French. This book follows a family through their busy day. In each scene, it’s filled with people, place, and things, where you and your child will meet people of all races, cultures, lifestyles, and abilities. The book has very colorful illustrations where it details scenes of daily life activities and your child will learn daily life vocabulary with the help of illustrations.
Barefoot World Atlas – Children can learn the different continents, oceans, fauna, and flora around the world; it comes with a poster map, and you can also download a paid interactive app on your iPad for a great experience.
The Barefoot Book of Children – This is Barefoot Books’ best seller. Every child in the world is represented here. It has some endnotes at the end, where it explains the different cultures, and promotes diversity, inclusion and acceptance of others.
Find a Space to Read and Have Fun
Reading time should be a special bonding time with your child. Children learn by example, be that role model for them. If they see you reading, and see that you enjoy it, there are more chances of your child to love books and love reading.
Here are some ideas on what you can do to promote reading time:
- Try and find a special reading corner in your home or create one. Pinterest has tons of great ideas!
- Go to the library and pick out some books for the week.
- Look into the library’s and bookstores’ calendars and see when there is reading time for children. It’s free and you can get out of the house.
- Try and find other reading activities in the community. For activities, I usually go to the website Macaroni Kid in my community and see what events are happening in the week. There is also HulaFrog, but Macaroni Kid is my go-to for kids’ activities.
So, my question to you is, what are your plans to promote reading to your child?
If you want additional tips on reading to your kids, read my post about 10 Tips on Reading With Your Children.