This holiday season, give your pre-kindergarten student the gift of a lifetime–give them a story a day. Whether it’s reading aloud to them at bedtime, listening to an audio book in the car, or sharing a story during bath time, research overwhelmingly supports the fact that exposing young children to aural storytelling at an early age, improves their cognitive development.
If you have not done so already, make it a habit to read aloud to your child at least 15 minutes a day. But, as childhood literacy expert Keisha Siriboe advises, don't make it a lesson. Make it fun. “There is a time for structured learning and reading, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about that 15 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour, where we are having a bonding session. The enjoyment part,” she explains.
In addition to bonding, reading aloud to your child is an expression of love, an opportunity to address their anxieties in a subtle way, improve their vocabulary, give them downtime from technology, start a conversation about something in their life, and explore their interests.
Perhaps most importantly, reading aloud to your child can illustrate to them the importance of their own story as an individual. As you share stories of others, find ways to relate those stories to your own child’s life and the world around them. Encourage them to see the myriad stories we are surrounded with and the importance of our own story within this world.
As they fall in love with stories, they will gravitate toward them and get more pleasure in reading on their own, writing creatively, or seeking avenues for self-expression in other contexts.
For additional techniques to foster a passion for reading visit our blog post “5 Ways to Help Your Child Fall in Love with Reading.”