We all have heard that parents reading to little ones is so important.
However, when you are in the moment with a squirmy 1-year-old that would rather chew on the corner of a book than listen to what letter fell out of the coconut tree, it is hard to stay the course.
Babies and toddlers are constantly learning new words and concepts.
These early years have the fastest growth and are the most important to brain development.
You may see a simple story, but you are teaching them new sounds, words, language, and listening skills.
Behavioral evidence has shown that children who are read to, especially before school entry, experience stronger parent-child relationships and learn valuable language and literacy skills.American Academy of Pediatrics aap.org
You may question if story time is important when babies and toddlers are not responding; however, like every task with a child, you are showing them it is important by keeping it up.
Make it a routine part of your family's day so the parent and child understand what to anticipate and what is expected.
There are many new options to keep that little one entertained.
Touch and feel books and indestructible books are great for engaging those with busy hands.
Use downtime to introduce playing with books, for example, bath time with waterproof books or even small books to read in the car.
You can always ask your preschool teacher what they are reading in the classroom for more ideas.
It may not be easy, but it is so worth it. Children go from uninterested babies to little kids that can't wait for that bedtime story so fast. Our job as parents is to help create that love of reading at an early age and just keep reading!