It’s never too late to start reading to your child. If you’re not sure what to read to them then you absolutely can’t go past the list of books selected by the Better Reading community.
Reading aloud to children benefits them in so many ways and through you they can engage with reading from babyhood. But don’t stop there – this comprehensive list offers ideas for every age and believe it or not children are never too old to be read to.
How sad childhood would be without the wonderful titles listed in Better Reading’s Top 50 Children’s books. Each book on the list shapes memories that I still hold dear. But importantly, reading aloud to children is a vehicle through which learning can happen at any age.
Here’s a list of some of what children learn when you read to them.
* They learn how books work, and that we read sentences and words from left to right.
* They learn that books and words have meaning, convey a message, a story or information, and that we comprehend books to make meaning from what we read.
* They learn about phonemic awareness, a foundation stone for reading that means hearing and manipulating the sounds in spoken language and recognising that words are made up of speech sounds, Each Peach Pear Plum, Cat in the Hat and Hairy Maclary from Donaldson Dairy lend themselves to this learning beautifully.
* They learn vocabulary. A quick scope of some of the titles on the list exposes children to words including, visible, invisible, stroll, underground, tusks, mischief, forlorn and squealed. It would be difficult to weave these words into everyday conversation and children with an extensive vocabulary have distinct advantages when learning to read and write because they have a greater repertoire of known words and meanings.
* They learn about spelling when they see, hear and talk about words with you.
* They learn mathematics, 10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes, is numbers and counting, while Who Sank the Boat is all about measurement and weight and laughter of course!
* They learn about resilience and self-esteem. Thelma the Unicorn, Charlotte’s Web and Matilda can lead to conversations about friendship and its role in making us resilient. They present characters that learn to love themselves for who they are despite what might be happening around them and because of the love of their friends.
* They learn about values. Poor old Pig the Pug, teaches them everything they need to know about how not to behave.
Finally, this weekend borrow from the library, buy in a bookshop or pull off the bookshelf, Guess How Much I Love You. Then snuggle in close, no matter how old your children are and experience the joy of reading such a wonderful story that explains how much we love our children.
Read with them, out loud and often. By doing so you will build a bond around books that will last a lifetime and give them most importantly the greatest gift a love of reading and books.