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We know reading to kids is essential. Studies have shown that reading with toddlers is not only a great way to expose them to language, but it helps build emergent literacy skills that include*:
- large vocabulary
- phonemic awareness
- understanding that marks on a page are letters and words
- knowing the letters of the alphabet
All things that will help them succeed in school.
Our family always reads bedtime stories, but as the youngest of three kids (with a fourth on the way) and a busy household, I started to feel like maybe we weren’t reading enough to our toddler (almost 2). I had seen the signs at the Grayslake Area Library for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, and it piqued my interest, if for no other reason than to provide an incentive to read more.
The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program is a reading program for children and parents from birth to age 5. You can start at any time, but the goal is to finish before they start kindergarten, so between the age of 2-3 would be the latest you want to start. It’s just a reading log like you would get for any of the seasonal reading clubs/games, where you keep track of all the books you read. Everything counts, books you read, books older siblings read to them, books that are being read to all your kids, in storytime, at school, audiobooks.
But 1000 books, that seems like a daunting task, right? I mean, we read a lot, we have a lot of books, but 1000 seemed like a lot. The library breaks it down, so it’s manageable and not daunting at all. When you sign-up you are giving a FAQ pamphlet that answers this “can it be done” question:
If you read only one bedtime story every night for three years you will have read 1095 books. If you read 10 books each week for 2 years you will have read 1040 books.
The earlier you start, the more books you can read! You are given a log only for the first 100 books. For every 100 books, you read you bring it back in, and you get a prize and the log for the next 100 books. You are also given a (long) list of suggested reading to help you choose books.
There are no “rules” on what books or what kind of books to read. You can even read the same ones over and over again. This is good because Goodnight Gorilla will probably make up 50% of our reading log! We signed up back in November (I think), and since I always forget to fill it in, we are almost to 75 books. I plan on sharing a list of what we have read for each hundred.
Do you think you can read 1000 books before kindergarten?
Find book suggestions on our Bookshelf!
* source: Kids Health Reading to Toddlers
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