Much of a child’s learning capacity is established under 3 years old
Under 3 years old, a child’s brain grows up to 90% of their eventual adult size
Reading just 15-30 minutes aloud each day to your child starting at birth enhances a child’s learning capacity, language skills, and later reading success
Reading aloud to your child is the single most important thing you can do to help children prepare for learning and reading
Studies show that parents who emphasize reading as entertainment and for enjoyment develop their children’s love for reading and positive attitude towards reading later in life
Sadly, studies show that the amount of television a child watches in one day is equivalent to the amount they read for fun in one week
In fact, most teens and children spend an average of seven hours a day on media such as television, computers, phones, and other electronic devices
Studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics reveal that kids who indulge in excessive amounts of media can suffer from attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
Children <2 years old have no TV or electronic time
Children >2 years old only 1-2 hours per day of TV or media time including computers, video games, iPad and iPhone time
How do we promote reading in our babies and children?
Start reading to your babies from day one-your babies will attain language skills even in the first month of life
Read the same books over and over-children love repetition and actually learn more from it
Provide a good example for you children and teens and shut off the t.v., phones, iPads and have a set reading time every day
Take your babies, toddlers, and children to the library. The library offers lots of reading times, preschool type activities, and music and games to even very young babies
Play board games, write with sidewalk chalk outside, use magnetic alphabet on the fridge and make games out of learning
Use a timer to limit your child and teens media time and stick with it. For really difficult kids, set the timer 15 minutes earlier than the “shut-off” time as a warning. For example, timer goes off and you say, “Ok in 15 minutes we are shutting off the video games.” This really does work
For more ideas on how to promote literacy in your children, check out your local library website as well as the following websites: nea.org, reading rockets.org, getreadytoread.org and earlymoments.com.