Feed Your Child’s Imagination through Books

Feed Your Child’s Imagination through Books
by Katie Frankwick, PA-C, Aspirus Clinic - Marshfield

Whether it be following an old family recipe to make a cherished meal or learning how to cast spells at Hogwarts, reading to your child has benefits beyond providing simple entertainment.  Reading to your child should be as vital to your daily routine as brushing their teeth or eating dinner together.

Reading to your child is more than telling them a story. It’s a way to bond with your child on a deep emotional level, foster creativity, and help them build and grow their language skills. Making story time an essential part of your daily routine will be an investment in your child’s education that you will continue to see for years to come.

Here are some tips to getting started:

  1. Start early.Babies thrive on routine, and making story time part of that routine is something they will grow up learning to look forward to.It does not have to be a book specific for young children.Even just reading out loud a novel or newspaper can help foster speech development.
  2. Find creative ways to incorporate reading.Make a recipe together and have your child read the instructions to you or read them together. Make it a game when traveling to read different road signs and find words that start with every letter of the alphabet. Help your child write their own story to foster imagination and help language development.
  3. Invest in a reading nook.Make a fun space for your child to go to read.Have a variety of books available to them as well as good lighting. This could be a princess castle, a fort, or just a bench. Wherever it is, it is a dedicated reading space where they can go to have quiet time to read.
  4. Check out the local library. This is a great, free resource to get books to try. Most librarians can give good recommendations on age-appropriate books as well. Some libraries have summer reading programs to keep children reading throughout the summer and motivate them to do so.
  5. Make it a family affair. If you have teenagers or pre-teens, set time aside to read as a family. Everyone can either read the same book or different books, just do so at a consistent time together. Begin by setting the example. You don’t need to read for hours. Even 15 minutes a day can make a difference. Try to find something you all enjoy reading and read together. This can further a family bond by leading to discussion.

For more information, tips and tricks on reading and language development, or general questions about pediatrics, come see me or Laura Burns, PA-C at the new Aspirus Clinic – Marshfield, located in Founder’s Square. In addition to being mothers, we both love caring for children of all ages, as well as caring for adults. To schedule an appointment, call 715.898.1238. To learn more about Aspirus Clinic – Marshfield, visit aspirus.org/Marshfield