March is a great month to talk about reading! This month we will be celebrating Dr. Suess’s Birthday, and Read across America. NEA’s Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2—Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too! Parents can participate by reading aloud to their child.
When should you start reading aloud to your Montessori child? The answer is simple: as soon as possible! After all, Maria Montessori believed that the sensitive period for language development is between birth and age six.
What better time to start reading aloud to your child than when he is in the sensitive period for language acquisition?
Reading Aloud to Infants and Toddlers and Preschoolers:
- Begin by having the child on your lap, your arms around them. This full body contact promotes the positive emotional aspect and bonding of reading aloud.
- Around 6 months of age, babies become less passive and more interested in mouthing or teething on the book. Offer a small teething toy to keep them occupied during your reading sessions.
- Around 8 months of age, babies become more active and enjoy turning the pages. Encourage children to do so when it is time. This helps develop active listening skills as they begin to anticipate the end of the page.
- Around 12 months of age, babies are able to listen and point to objects on the page. They also begin to make animal noises (moo, oink, baaaa) on cue.
- By the time they start walking, babies are constantly on the go. Choose your reading times wisely, perhaps before a nap, and enjoy snuggling up to this now quiet wonder.
- Begin with picture books, with relatively few sentences per page. Then, gradually add books with more text as your child matures.