I’ve very fond memories of my mother reading and telling stories to me at night when I was a child. She had the ‘gift of the gab’ as we say in Ireland. Now that I have my own children I can see the importance of reading to them. For me in the early stages, I found the little picture touch feel novelty books were great for helping my children with their sounds and senses. Reading to them was another way of them hearing your voice and sharing an experience together, and that for me created a nice little bond. Even if you have to point and say apple a 100 times it’s important. You’re the first voice they know and it’s a great way of communicating with them and teaching them to speak and express themselves.
As they got older the books advanced, which is my favourite part as now we’re on to the fun stories that parents and children can enjoy. There are weeks where I would read the same book over and over and that can be a bit daunting but try to remember children love repetition and you are reading it for them. Try to set aside a good bit of time to bring your child to bed early and read with them. Don’t be afraid to do silly voices and act out the roles. You’ll be surprised at how much fun that can be, and it’s a great way to end the day. There’s nothing like turning off the light and saying goodnight to a happy and relaxed child.
Try to read every day if you can. I know that’s not always easy as there are times when I’m just not in the mood of reading after a busy day, and I’m so tired the words float off the page so it’s handy to have books of different lengths.
Books are also a great way to talk about important life topics etc. Children love to see their hero in their book overcome a fear or move on to a new transition. I’ve lost count of the amount of books I have on brushing teeth!
Don’t keep reading to just bedtime however. A fun day out can be spent at local library or going to second hand shops and getting some bargains. Also another fun activity for children is to let them create their own books. It’s amazing what kind of stories they come up with when their imagination runs wild!
The important thing is just to have fun with them.
Children’s Books by Denise McCabe are available by clicking here or pop across to My Books section to have a further look