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Read, Read, Read!

“The more you read the more things you know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go” – Dr. Seuss.

As we are approaching the end of another year, I, like many others, set myself resolutions for the New Year. One that has been consistent for the last 2 years is to read a book every month! I hope to continue with this one for years to come, as I cannot stress the importance of Reading.

We can foster a love for reading in our children as young as babies by simply reading to them. Although they may not understand what we are saying, they can see the bright colors and patterns in a book, as well as our expressions while we read. Books can also be used to soothe our little ones by singing nursery rhymes and lullabies, and above all, it’s quality time spent alone with them.

As your child reaches the toddler age, they can recognize words and are more actively engaged in books. Introduce books with colors, numbers, shapes and simple sentences. A good habit to put into your daily routine would be fixed reading times, before nap time and at bedtime. This can help your child relax and unwind.

When my son started school at 4 years old, my favorite memory was going to the Elementary school library with him after school. I would always get so excited when he chose his own books for us to read together. Encouraging your child to select their own books at this age develops a sense of independence and care for books. It is also a great way to bond with your child as they transition into school.

As your child progresses through his/her reading journey they now know the selection of books available and have cultivated a liking to certain characters or genres. This is a great time to have discussions about the book, characters, emotions and feelings. As teenagers, my boys were into fantasy novels. We all read Harry Potter as a family and had some of the best dinner table discussions!

Unfortunately as they got into High school, the reading frequency reduced due to time constraints and other distractions. The books they were now reading were based on topics they were studying at school, and I always worried why they had stopped reading like they used to. One day, after a great deal of nagging, my son finally said to me, “Mum, you think we are not reading, but we read everything on our phones and laptops!”. I had come to the realization that times had changed, and despite the lack of a physical book laying by their bedside, I was happy they were still reading!

I would like to share some of my favorite children/teenage books with you. Wish you Happy Reading with your little ones!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and all the Eric Carle books
Gruffalo’s Child
Dr. Seuss’ books
The Giving tree
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Don’t Let the Chicken Drive the Bus! – Mo Willems
Goodnight Moon
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
All the Roald Dahl books
The Little Prince
Charlotte’s Web
the Harry Potter series (can’t believe there are theme park rides now coming up based on the books!),
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (I even managed to take them to see the show in West End!)

Best Regards,
Monica Valrani
Ladybird Nurseries