By Diane Adams, Falls Public Library
Whew! The year just keeps flying by. Hopefully everyone is feeling a bit settled and ready to make sure the youngest members of our community are being read to each and every day. The library wants each and every child in our community to be ready to read when they enter school. The best preparation for reading, is being read to.
Reading is a great way to spend time with young children. It allows the child to cuddle with an adult, it can be fun – there are lots of great picture books to share with children these days, and it provides growing young children’s brains stimulation they need to make connections and grow properly. So read to the children in your life and if you don’t have young children to read to and would like to then contact the library and we will put you in touch with LORE, the love of reading early program that pairs adults with young children who need a reader in their life.
Find new books, old books, it doesn’t matter, just find books to read to young children each and every day. This is your chance to let loose, be silly and have fun. While reading is serious business and has serious benefits to young children it can be as fun and silly as you want to make it. Pick up a Sandra Boynton tale like Your Personal Penguin and create different voices for each character. You don’t even have to read the words on the page, just tell whatever story you want with the pictures. Books help broaden a child’s vocabulary (and sometimes ours too) by exposing them to words that might not come up in everyday conversation. I mean how many times have you talked about Dinosaurs and potties, or gorillas and zoos. Books provide opportunities to explore anywhere you want to go.
But words don’t just expose children to out-of-the-ordinary places, they can also be reassuring and reinforce the everyday experiences they have. When you are busy cooking dinner, read the recipe aloud to your child, talk about the different ingredients, what they look like, taste like or smell like. Talk about how much of an ingredient you will add and then after dinner share Dragon Loves Tacos by Adam Rubin and laugh together.
Share your favorite books from your childhood whether it is The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss or Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. Visit the library and borrow a brand new book that no one has borrowed yet, my favorite kind.
Visit the library and get signed up for Ready Ready which provides free books to children each time they have been read to for 100 days until they enter Kindergarten. Pick up an application for your child to participate in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and have a free book mailed to them each month until they turn 5.