There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all. ~Jacqueline Kennedy
Books are a wonderful way to teach children about a variety of topics and can provide a platform for learning about current events. But books go well beyond just providing information about different topics, and reading offers children countless opportunities to practice a range of developmental skills. Engaging with your child through reading promotes positive interactions and can aid in strengthening their relationships with caregivers.
Social & Emotional: You can help your child practice social emotional skills and develop empathy by talking about the emotional expressions of the characters and what they may be feeling or thinking. For example, “How do you think he felt after his team lost the game?” or “What does she think about her family moving to a new city?”
Speech & Language: Your child may naturally practice speech and language skills, such as offering information and commenting on the pictures. Asking your child questions about the content of the book can help them practice ‘w’ questions, such as “What is the dog eating?” to higher-level questions like “Where do you think the child will take the food?”
Fine & Gross Motor: While reading with your child, you both can practice fine and gross motor skills through tasks such as pointing to pictures, turning pages, and imitating large muscle group actions like running or jumping.
Pre-Academic: Your child can practice pre-academic skills by identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters on the various pages of the book. You can ask your child to find the ‘red circle’ or point to a shape and ask him to name the shape or color.
One of the biggest determinants of children trying a new food or eating it, is familiarity. Children may need the same food presented approximately 10 times before they are comfortable with it. Reading and talking about new foods helps aid in familiarity. Check out the books below to spark conversation and learning opportunities for your child about food:
- Dragons Love Tacos & Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
- Eat, Leo! Eat! By Caroline Adderson
- Fall Harvests: Bringing in Food by Martha Rustad
- Eating 5 Colors with Foodie the Dwarf by Liora Houbara
- The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman
- D.W. the Picky Eater by Marc Brown
- Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider
What are your favorite food books to read with your child?