I love the public library. Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed going to the library and checking out books (and the occasional movie or album – now CD). Reading provides an opportunity to explore new worlds and different cultures. It also offers an escape from our day-to-day lives and it’s just plain fun.
My daughter shares my love of reading and the library and I’m glad. I started reading to her when she was a baby and taking her to story time at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library after she turned two (On her second birthday, we went to the library and signed her up for a library card).
I’ll let you in on a little secret – story time is the best thing since sliced bread. The librarian who leads the preschool session we attend is great. She’s energetic and plans creative activities and crafts associated with each week’s books. The kids are so engaged with what she’s doing, they don’t realize that they’re learning and growing. My daughter views it as a treat to attend and looks forward to it each week. And we can’t leave the library without perusing the children’s book section and checking out at least one book.
In addition to story time, I try to read to her several nights a week. Her favorite books vary and after a while, I end up memorizing books because we’ve read them over and over and over – sometimes during the same night (although I think that’s partially a stall tactic when she doesn’t want to go to sleep).
When I need to get something done around the house, I set her up with the Reading Rainbow app on my iPad or her Me Reader. They’re great because she can “read” books all by herself and I’m cutting back on her screen time – kinda (I can’t wait until she starts “reading” to her little sister).
Lately, I’ve been noticing the fruits of my reading labor are starting to pay off. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are read to during infancy and preschool years have better language skills when they start school and are more interested in reading. This rings true for my daughter. She can be pretty chatty once she gets going and often wants to read book after book (She can go through eight books on her Me Reader in less than an hour).
My goal is to continue to nurture her love of reading and the library. Earlier this week, I was working on her Christmas wish list and researching educational toys and books that will help develop her reading skills. She’ll be home with me and the baby while I’m on maternity leave and I want to make sure she continues to advance while she’s out of preschool. Fellow moms – if you have any suggestions for 4-year-olds, please let me know.
Serena Smith is a senior marketing communications specialist at ProMedica. She is responsible for facilitating media coverage of ProMedica and writes health articles for ProMedica HealthConnect. Her passion is health and wellness. She’s an avid runner and enjoys competing in half marathons. She loves to read, watch television and spend time with her husband and daughter.