A baby’s brain is brimming with neurons waiting to be connected through interaction and engagement. As a child develops, the neurons create connections called synapses that different parts of the brain to one another. One way to increase these formation of synapses within a baby’s brain is to read. 1000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages families to read 1000 books prior to a child starting kindergarten. Many public libraries promote the program by providing reading logs, lists, programs and stickers to encourage families to read together.
Looking at the chart, 200 books divided by 365 comes out to .5479 books a night. Since at least one of those years will be a leap year, 200 books divided by 366 is .5464 books a night. Leap year or not, breaking down the numbers makes what seems like a monumental task of 1000 books in five years more manageable.
Listening to stories read aloud helps children in a variety of ways.
Classic Dr. Seuss stories like “Hop on Pop” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” incorporate rhyming to engage children and help them predict what will come next. Sometimes the silly combinations don’t even make sense, making it even more memorable. Rhyming words help children with sound patterns, contributing to their speech development.
The stories you read to your newborn may be simple ones like “Pat the Bunny,” but with time your child’s attention span will increase to enjoy the beautiful artwork within Caldecott Medal books. If your child doesn’t seem very interested in the story, then change your voice, add motions, let him turn the page, or find another book or topic he might enjoy more.
Reading to your child regularly gives them the knowledge of how to hold a book and that sentences in English start from the left and go to the right. While a child may not yet be reading, exposure to books increases their awareness of the shapes and sizes of letters.
By reading with your child daily, you’ll have sweet memories of time spent together listening to, chewing on, and turning pages of books. Before you know it, you and your child will have read 1,000 books before kindergarten!
Jann Fujimoto, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of SpeechWorks LLC, a provider of on-site speech therapy in Delafield, Dousman, Ixonia, Watertown, Oconomowoc, Hartland & Pewaukee. SpeechWorks helps children become confident communicators and empowers parents to be their child’s speech-language advocate.