As my husband and I cleaned up the living room before heading to bed, we began stacking all the books we had read to our 19-month-old son that day. Here’s the stack:
That’s a lot of books! By no means, however, is it too many. There is no such thing as reading too much.
Exposure to New Words and Proper Sentence Structure
The more a toddler is exposed to the written word, the faster his speech will develop. He will be exposed to words in the text that do not typically come up in everyday speech and proper sentence forms (syntax) that we sometimes skip over when speedily communicating with each other. For instance, here in southwestern Pennsylvania, it’s common to hear someone ask, “Where you at?” To non-natives, this is grating on the ears and possibly difficult to understand. In a child’s book, sentence won’t be as poorly formed as my example. Instead, children will encounter this proper construction: “Where are you?”
Sight Words and Naming Objects
Any person offering sage advice on choosing the right books for your baby and toddler will tell you to pick books with excellent pictures. Books are a way for your child to learn about new objects she wouldn’t typically encounter in her everyday environment. You’re child may not have ever seen an elephant in person, but she will definitely be able to identify one if exposed to the word simultaneously with a picture. Books with vivid, true-to-life rather than abstract illustrations will help your child make the connection between the object and the word used to describe the object.
FOR MORE INFORMATION about these topics and the power of reading, check out these links:
Here I answer your language development questions such as: How do babies acquire language? Can I read anything I want to baby? Why can’t I just talk to baby? When should I read to baby? … and much, much more.
Top 10 Tips to Help Children Love Reading by Free Little Words