Nothing quite compares to the excitement in a child’s eyes when you crack open a good book and introduce her to new characters, places, and things. Reading aloud to kids is one of the most effective ways to spark creativity, build vocabulary, and improve comprehension. Reading to youngsters also:
- fosters brain development
- helps emotional development
- opens the door to new worlds and cultures
- teaches empathy
- improves listening skills
- improves concentration
Research suggests that reading during the early years can have a positive influence on achievement later in life. Isn’t it amazing how something so simple can impact the way kids develop and how they see the world?
Parents trust childcare providers to partner with them to provide their kids with experiences that will help them develop the skills they need to succeed in the future. This means making reading a daily part of their childcare routine. It’s never too early to start. Even infants gain insurmountable benefits from listening to childcare teachers read to them regularly.
Here’s how to make the most of reading to children in your childcare classroom.
- Implement several read-aloud sessions into your daily classroom schedule. For instance, you might read books to kids during morning and evening circle times and before or after nap.
- Read a variety of books to children. If your center doesn’t provide enough books, go to the library and check some out.
- Pull children into the story by asking open ended questions. You might ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?” or “How do you think the bear made the little boy feel?”
- Choose age-appropriate books. Books for young kids should have simple words and vivid illustrations. When in doubt about the appropriateness of a children’s book, look at the age recommendation listed on the cover.
- Animate your voice tones to give each character a personality, and use facial expressions to convey emotions.
- Do activities that related to the stories you read? For instance, after reading the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, you can let kids make mice out of construction paper and collage material, or they can bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Ooh la, la!
Books should be commonplace in every childcare center; the simple act of reading has a huge impacts kids’ cognitive, social, and emotional development. Reading also fires up the imagination and opens youngsters’ minds to new and exiting things.