One of our addictions at home is reading. There are like 2000 cookbooks at home, apart
from other hundreds from other topics spread around the house. The twins bookshelf is one of the fullest ones. When they were 6 months old I started to read to them EVERY night. Nowadays, when they are about to go to bed, they pick up a book to look at before going to sleep. However, I don’t enhance them to go to books only when they are about to sleep. Whenever they get cranky, and we are having “communications issues”, I take them to the book zone and leave them there to “read” while cooling down.
Although they are just two years old, their bookshelf is already packed with books from all types of artists. They might not be enjoying them fully now, but they will one day, and they will know that those books are theirs for life. I’m not a fan of e-Books, so paperback and hardcovers are my choice (I’m old fashioned in that sense). For me books are most enjoyed in paper, and they gain value through years.
MAKE READING AS INTERACTIVE AS POSSIBLE
I often take some time during my day to sit with both my twins and have an interactive, shared experience by reading with them. There are many studies that suggest the importance of book reading in children’s development. However, the quality of the experience of reading matters as well. It’s not the same to just read a book to them as it is to really engage with them in the story and make it as interactive as possible, (Rafael my husband his great at this). When reading to them, ask the kids what is happening in the story, what they think is going to happen next, and maybe even ask them to impersonate the characters! This will surely make the experience more engaging for them.
KIDS SHOULD ALSO ENGAGE IN BOOKS ON THEIR OWN
As I mentioned before, I let Ferran and Leon engage with books on their own, even if they are not reading yet. There are studies that have found that those children that engage with books as preschoolers develop better reading skills and lifelong habits. And hey, in a world where people are tending to read less and less literature, having good reading habits is surely a plus for their future.
Books aren’t only for going to sleep. Books are also an entertaining and learning activity that you can nurture in your kids: it’s not only about TV and screens! And, as I said, books can also be a strategy to use when they get moody. They might learn how to find in books the answer to their “problems”.