Have you heard about the 21 day Read Aloud challenge for the month of October? Studies have continued to show the importance of reading to your child. But, did you know the importance of reading aloud to your baby…from birth?
Reading aloud and having your baby hear your voice plays an important role in early brain development. In a recent study, only 15% of parents read aloud to their child from birth, and only 8% reported reading aloud for at least 15 minutes a day.
The challenge is for parents and caregivers to include 15 minutes of reading aloud in their daily routine for 21 straight days. I wonder why the challenge was not for the entire month?
There are so many classic children’s books to begin reading to your child. I recently went to a clever baby shower where the guests were asked to bring their favorite children’s book and to write an inscription for the new baby. What a fun way to welcome a newborn to the family and to start their library. One day the child will probably really enjoy reading all of the inscriptions as well as the books.
I still can remember having a baby boy on my lap and reading him stories that I am sure my parents had read to me. Some of my favorites….The Little Engine that Could (I still use that quote quite often), Caps for Sale, Madeline, Richard Scary books, Toad and Frog, Winnie the Pooh, Dr. Seuss (which is what some of my patients call me), Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (we still have these days as adults), Goodnight Moon, I Love You Forever. I know every family has their favorites.
With another new grand baby due this month I am going to start the challenge myself. Whether it be a girl or a boy (will keep you posted), I am going to pull out all of those books I love (which are in boxes in the garage) and start my grandparent reading time every day. Fortunately for me, the new grand baby lives just blocks away and what a great EXCUSE for a short visit.
So, no matter the age of your child, birth till 6 or 7 years for sure, commit to reading aloud everyday, for 15 minutes without the distraction of electronics. Once your child is reading, reverse the challenge and have them read aloud to you for at least 15 minutes a day. Who knows…it may be so much fun that you start reading for longer periods every day!