Books and reading are something that is started early on in life. I mean you always get those cute little books with a single word on every page for your baby shower and every holiday for the first couple of years of your child (or grandchild, niece/nephews) life. We are at that age in our lives where a lot of our friends are having kids or have young kids, so I am constantly trying to find good gift ideas. Incredibundles has lately been my go-to one stop gift shop. They have several different pre-made gift packs but also have a build your own section. What I love about these bundles is they are built (with the exception of the diaper bundles…which is an amazing gift BTW) with education in mind. And I love that a ton of the gifts come with one or more books.
Ever since Aria was a baby reading books has been part of our bedtime routine. We love books and we also love making up and creating our own stories. I have always been a big advocate for books and reading with my girls for the following reasons:
- When your child is still a baby and/or young toddler it helps with early vocabulary development, listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. Reading books constantly is putting words in front of the child, it also helps the child learn that we read words left to right and that the words are separate from the pictures. Now that Aria is older (she actually has some books almost memorized), as she’s reading to me I use my finger to follow the corresponding words; this helps her start associating the word she is saying to the words she is seeing. Being able to listen to a story is equally as important as actually reading. This is the beginnings of learning to listen to other people. Now it’s just a story, but as they get older it will be listening to their friend, coworker, even a stranger who just needs someone to talk to.
- We do more than just read the words – we talk about colors, count everything and discuss what objects are seen on the page. This is probably Aria’s favorite thing. We have been doing this since she was a baby and she has learned all of her colors and counting to 100 (and more) as well as shapes, animals and their sounds, etc…the things you can talk about on the pages is almost endless, and like my next point, stimulate their imagination.
- Reading helps stimulate a child’s imagination, which is key for child play as they get older. Books are all created from someone’s imagination. It allows a child to go beyond their real existence and get creative. It’s one of the first places they see different concepts like going to the zoo, taking care of a baby, playing at the beach, or whatever the story entails…not only that it allows them to see other ethnicities, cultures, even animals doing things they don’t normally do.
- Helps your child slow down and teaches them how to relax and mentally prepare for winding down before nap or bed. You will also enjoy some extra snuggles with your baby as they get older and want to be more on the move. Teaching a child to take some time to slow down is such an important skill that can be learned early. I know plenty of adults that have a hard time sitting still and being able to sit in the quiet and relax and take time for themselves. Reading a book is the perfect way to start this learned skill.
- Kids are able to see and understand different concepts without actually experiencing it for themselves. This is such a great way to build a child’s idea of empathy and understand the basic concepts of humanity. For example, in a story, a kid was moving and her friend was sad…Aria looks at me and says “Mommy, why is she sad?” This gave the opportunity to explain to her the emotional experience and how to handle the situation.
- Lastly, that reading is fun. When you engage in reading as an activity now, while they’re younger, it teaches them that reading is enjoyable and not a chore or task….which is often the thought about reading as they get further in school and have to read for assignments.
It is so important to read and continue reading to and with your kids. To celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8, I have teamed up with Incredibundles to giveaway a $50 gift card to shop their gift sets! They have so many great things. My favorite bundles are Baby’s First Books, Toddler’s Love to Read, Eric Carle Book Bundle, or if you’re like us and you or the recipient has a ton of books you can create your own bundle with books, toys, and plush characters.
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