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The Power of Reading

by LJ Dovichi | April 9th, 2008 | Helpful Hints

I love to read and when I had my son, I stocked up on lots of children’s books so I could impart my love of reading onto him. When he was three months old, we started with cloth picture books, the ones that crinkled and beeped with chewable corners. I would patiently turn the pages and make up stories for the pictures while he mauled the book with his hands and mouth. At six months, he quit trying to eat them, so we moved on to board books. He would sit in my lap and rapidly turn the pages, faster than I could read them, over and over again. He would sit still on my lap, except for the page turning, for untold amounts of time, ‘reading’ book after book.

By a year old he would actually wait on a page until I had read the whole text and talk about what the pictures were doing and what was going to happen next. So when I found out that my local library did a lap-sit story time on Wednesday mornings for toddlers 18 to 36 months, even though my son was only fourteen months, I decided to take him. He sat quietly on my lap enthralled by the stories, the interactive songs, and the bouncing. He’s three now, and we go every week, sit for two story times, and then check out books for the bedtimes stories we read every night.

Studies have show there is a correlation between reading and vocabulary. He recently had his three-year well baby check-up, and the doctor said that he had an advanced vocabulary and clear enunciation. Now, I’m definitely no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I think reading to him since infanthood certainly had a great deal to do with why. So, I say the earlier they start being read to the better.

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