It's Children's Book Week

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Preschoolers, Big Kids, Tweens, Teens, Development/Milestones: Babies, Day Care & Education

Frederic G. Melcher, former editor of Publishers Weekly, once said, "A great nation is a reading nation." Recognizing that the love of reading starts in childhood, Melcher and others came together back in 1919 to celebrate the very first Children's Book Week. Eighty-nine years later, the Children's Book Council carries on the tradition of encouraging reading among children.

This year, Children's Book Week is celebrated May 12-18 and children's author Terry Pierce has some suggestions for ways to promote a love of reading with your own children.

First of all, it is never too early to start reading to your child. Even if they don't understand a word you are saying, it is a wonderful way to bond. Plus, early exposure to books helps develop memory skills as well as symbol recognition, hearing and speaking.

To extend the learning beyond the pages of the book, Pierce suggests asking questions at the end of a story. You could ask your child what she thinks the author was trying to say, discuss the illustrations and even predict what happens next. Another way to enhance the story is to take it into the kitchen. A story that involves food can lead to a fun cooking activity in which your child can be involved in everything from the shopping, to the cooking to the eating.

If your child likes to draw, how about letting him create his own illustrations for a favorite book? Or maybe design his own cover? Reading can also be a springboard into writing. Whether your child wants to pen a letter to the author or begin keeping a journal, books can be inspiring.

For more ideas on celebrating books and promoting reading, visit the Children's Book Council for activities, suggested books and more. Happy reading!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.