A friend asked this weekend what we’ve all been reading lately. In my case I’ve been reading the following books, repeatedly:
- Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton
- Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
- Are You a Cow? by Sandra Boynton
- Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
- I Howl, I Growl by Marcia Vaughan
- Baby Says Peekaboo! by Dawn Sirett
- Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
We have a thing for Sandra Boynton at our house. Brett has his own list of her books that he reads to her on a rotating basis at night, with a few other authors thrown in for variety.
We love reading to Iddo. She loves turning pages. She’s trying to be a speed reader and flips through the books real fast. One of my favorite things to watch her do is when she sits down next to her books and pulls them all out in a big stack on and around her lap and goes through them.
I did an online quiz recently to see how much I know about how important it is to read to children. I got one of the questions wrong. The question was about how many parents thought it was important to read to children from a very young age. I thought a lot more parents thought it was important than actually do. I thought it was kind of silly for us to get a book from the hospital when Iddo was born and then from our pediatrician at her 6 and 9 month appointments, but it’s probably the case that those might be the only 3 books some babies and toddlers own. Which is unbelievable to me.
Every week we get on the web camera and do story time with my mom. She reads a story to Iddo (current favorite is A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka) and they sing a song (she likes the chorus for the Hokey Pokey right now). Then Iddo pokes Grandma’s nose and says “beep.”
We went to story time at the library a few times but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it. It’s a bit of a drive from where we are, it was right when she wanted to nap every afternoon, and the story teller there wasn’t that great. Which was really sad for a library. She had a real hard time connecting with and interacting with the kids. Which is crucial for helping them learn to love reading and communicate.
Several years ago I attended a workshop by PBS Ready to Learn. They emphasized how important it is to not just watch shows that teach (like Sesame Street, when the child is old enough) but to also read books related to the idea and do activities with the idea. Interaction is key.
I was recently contacted by the authors of a new children’s book called Pictivities. It’s a book designed to help adults engage with children while reading to them. The Deseret News did an article about it a week or so ago – Utah couple writes children’s book that helps parents interact. They are trying to raise enough money to print this as a board book, which would be the perfect format for a book like this. Check out their project and see if it’s something you’d consider contributing too.