How important is reading to our children? On June 24, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a new policy statement that urges their 64,000 doctors to promote reading aloud daily to children, beginning in infancy. Along with advice on immunizations and other basic health issues, doctors will be telling parents
they should be "reading together as a daily fun activity." (see NYT 6/24/14) It's not news that critically important brain development "occurs within the first three years of life, and reading to children enhances vocabulary and other important communication skills." But now parents will be hearing it from their pediatricians.
Scientific research abounds on the importance of reading in terms of brain development among young children. Our "for teachers" page discusses some of the fun ways The Tree House that Jack Built can be used with children--as simple, cumulative rhyme, repetition, identification of animals and their activities, and rich illustrations loaded with fascinating details will bring children back to Jack's inventive tree house again and again.
How do kids learn how to think, imagine, and create?One primary way is to read imaginative books. They power our mind's ability to stretch, invent, and build new ideas. The more exposure children have to books-- picture books that engage and spark , for example--the more likely they are to learn how to think, imagine, and create. Meanwhile the circuitry of their brains is developing the complexity they will need to connect visual images, sounds, concepts, and spark creative thinking.
Take a look at Sir Ken Robinson's talk about creativity and children. It's been translated into 58 languages and has been seen by 27 million people.
Reading Tips: You may be surprised by the benefits of continuing to read aloud to your child, even after he can read independently. When you read aloud one level ahead of your child's current reading ability, you broaden his vocabulary and complex thinking. As he progresses to more challenging books, your child will easily recognize vocabulary because your reading made those words familiar--speeding and easing his learning process.
How many animals can you find in Jack's tree house?
According to James M. Perrin (AAP), "Fewer than half of children younger than five years old are read to daily in our country. The benefits are so compelling that encouraging reading at young children's check-ups has become an essential component of our care."
Art © copyright 2014 by Mark Teague from The House that Jack Built, published by Orchard/Scholastic. Text © copyright 2014 by Bonnie Verburg. This site is not
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