Today we visited the public library for our weekly get-out-of-the-house-before-we-lose-our-minds field trip. It is truly one of our favorite places. In the children's section, there are a couple of touchscreen computers and a few fun things for the kids to do, so it provides an outlet for the kiddos to get some "play" time out (and it provides Jude the opportunity to make new friends...every.where.he.goes.) I, of course, had to take back our plethora of books that we'd had for what seemed like forever to get some new ones. I don't think I hit the allotted amount this time (20), but I think I get close on occasion. Jude got to pick out his own book this time, which we haven't done in the past simply because I just haven't ever thought about it before. But, I really feel like he likes having some ownership and choice in what we read, and I like giving him that choice (unless I don't agree with the content of the book...)
The Cat Food Mystery (on top) is the one Jude picked out :)
I have learned over the last few years that children really learn through being read to, and most of them enjoy it. They learn, not just about what you're reading, but they learn how to develop attention span, how to follow a story and other things, which are all just as important as the content.
Speaking of content, it does matter what you read to your kids. Some people say, it doesn't matter what you read to children, just read to them. I couldn't disagree more. I encourage you to use wisdom and discretion and look at books before you read them to your child. And the Dads need to get in on this too! I think its so important for the Dads to read as well as the Moms. And who doesn't love such a great bonding experience? Curling up on the couch or bed with a good book is a really sweet thing. Even when I have to read the same book over and over, I try to get into it every time. It really is a delight! *I must be real here and add that story time doesn't quite work out every time we try it. There are times Ezra just isn't into it and he's loud and fussy, or Jude isn't in the mood. If that's the case, we wait until its a better time. I have found that you have to be flexible with little ones!* Even if you have little babies, start reading to them. They will enjoy the sound of your voice and will probably grow up loving to read because of it!
And use your library, peoples! Its a great, free resource for you and your kids. (you know I love that!) Ours has group story times throughout the week, fun family things to do together, movie nights, craft times for older kids, bands come and play on the lawn outside, its really fabulous. Can you tell I love my library very, very much??? :)