Ruth Bovard: Give children a well-balanced reading diet

By Ruth Bovard, early childhood education student

Ferris State University
I am a student at Ferris State University in the early childhood education program and would like to share the importance of reading multiple kinds of books to or with your children.

When the term “diet” is used, people generally connect it to food: eat less, eat healthier, or have more of a variety of foods. A reading diet is similar, except it focusses on healthy learning.

Our community here in Big Rapids has so many different nationalities and cultures. Reading to your child about the different races, ethnic backgrounds and cultures enhances the understanding of experiences, gives them empathy towards peers and enables the children to have a nurturing, meaningful relationship in their classrooms and playgrounds.

Children are like sponges. The more they hear, see, touch and explore, the more their brains develop. The Urban Child Institute states “by the time a child is 3, their brain has grown by 80 percent.” Reading to your child is one way to talk to them and help develop their brain. When children grow up exposed to different cultures, people and places, they become much more open to exploring careers, relationships and decision-making as parents or leaders.

Some examples of what a well-balanced reading diet would consist of:

n Going to the local libraries;

n Providing multicultural books;

n Having picture books the child can understand without having to read the words;

n Having both fiction and non-fiction books; and

n Reading a bed time story.

Reading with your child, to your child, or listening to them read to you are all important for your child’s growth. Help your child have a well-balanced reading diet by picking out a variety of books and include ones about the community around you.

Leave a Reply