Library Column for June 19, 2019

@ Your Library

Summer Reading is underway with programs for all ages alongside our encouragement of reading as a lifelong habit, beginning when children are infants. You can help build your baby’s brain by sharing words and books from the time they are born. The first twelve months of a child’s life are crucial to their development. Sharing lots of books will provide them with lots of exposure to the world around them and help them make connections in their brain that will enable them to learn and understand the world. Newborn babies’ focus will be on the routine of reading while feeling safe and loved. They love books with real pictures and bold contrasts. Babies love to listen to the voices of those close to them, read slowly and with exaggerated sounds.

By the time babies are 2 – 5 months they are beginning to explore their own sounds and learning which vowel sounds are going to be important in learning to talk. They will begin exploring consonant sounds around 5 – 9 months, thus enabling them to begin learning words and sharing them which is a delight to parents everywhere as their babies reach 9 – 12 months.

Reading aloud together is so important to the development of your baby’s vocabulary. Share favorite books over and over, but don’t forget to also select new ones to provide new words and experiences. Those words add up quickly giving your baby’s brain the best start for their rapidly developing brain.

Fifteen minutes a day of reading aloud is all that is needed to provide your children with the best start in life. And those fifteen minutes don’t have to be all at once. You can do three minutes five times a day or even one minute fifteen times a day. And they don’t even have to be looking at the book to gain the benefits.  So if they are playing quietly with a toy, grab a book and read to them or read while they are eating. Just read fifteen minutes each and every day to each and every child.

And children learn best by example, so model good reading habits yourself. Let your children see you reading for your own pleasure, whether magazines or books, fiction or non-fiction. Again, it doesn’t have to be a long time each day, but reading daily will improve your reading abilities, increase empathy and help decrease the chance for Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases.

Need books and magazines to read? The library has plenty to borrow, but the Friends of the Library also host monthly book sales with lots of great options available. Their next sale is Monday, June 24th from 1:30 – 3:30 pm. All sales are by donation with proceeds benefiting the Friends support of library programming. So plan on coming to the library and stocking up on lots of great reading for the summer as everyone can earn a free book for each ten hours of recorded reading time. Sign-up online at internationalfallslibrary.readsquared.com.

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