By Guest Blogger Pam Bacot

As the weather begins to cool down, time spent indoors inevitably increases. Use this to your advantage and take time to cuddle up to Read and Discuss Stories with your children!

Cuddle up

Use reading as a way to spend quality time with your children. Especially as the holiday season approaches, life can get hectic. Sitting down with your child to read helps them cope with stress. When children are cuddled in the lap of a loving caregiver, enjoying a book together, they feel safe and secure.

Talk about pictures

You do not need to read a book word for word for your child to reap the benefits of reading. Use holiday or winter themed books to point out and introduce your child to seasonal images such as snowmen, Santa Claus and more. To integrate another Basic, point out and count each of Santa’s 9 reindeer. Adding words and ideas to your child’s vocabulary is exciting! Once you find a book your child likes and has memorized, take note! By repeating books, children will begin to understand and remember the story, words, and pictures more.

Give books as gifts

As we head into the gift giving season, consider gifting your young child a book. For babies, look for board books that are sturdy and contain big, bright pictures and lots of rhyming words or songs. For toddlers, try to find books about subjects they like as they are starting to develop their own interests and personalities at this age. Trucks, animals and other children are a few examples of book topics toddlers tend to enjoy.  However, remember that at this age, pictures remain just as important as the words, so books with big, bright pictures are key.

Yes, the holidays are a stressful time. By implementing the Basic of Reading and Discussing Stories, your child or infant can spend quality time with, developing a positive connection through reading together!

To learn more about the Basics and watch videos on how to use these fun, free, and simple things in your everyday life, visit GuilfordBasics.org or follow on Facebook or Instagram.

Pam Bacot is a senior program manager with Reach Out and Read North Carolina. To learn more about Reach Out and Read, visit www.rorcarolinas.org.

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