Short visits to book stores at this time of year are impossible because there are so many wonderful books and stories. Did you know that sharing a book with a child, while being one of the most powerful kindergarten readiness activities, is a valuable connection and learning experience that will last far into the future?
For each of us, much of what we do and how we interact with others, will be done using language. This is true for every language. Learning language is one of the biggest challenges for children, followed by later learning to read. Reading books and stories helps kids with both of these, no matter what language is used at home. Books and stories also support the development of imaginations, and Einstein himself said that imagination is more important than knowledge. So that’s 3 powerful reasons to include lots of books and stories in children’s lives.
Books also make wonderful gifts. For very young children, choose books with big, bright pictures and only a few words per page. Books with flaps to lift and textures to feel are great choices for them. Choose stories that reflect your families traditions and celebrations, such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year and Winter Solstice as well as Christmas. Some children will have particular interests already at a young age such as animals, dinosaurs, sports, or favorite characters so there may be some books to build on these. If possible, share some books that you loved as a child. Many stories have been favorites for two or three generations or more.
Books not only create brain connections in terms of language and imaginations, they also build heart connections as we share books and stories with kids. Could it be that’s the best gift of all?
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