International Read to Me Day is quickly approaching on March 19th.

Of course, there’s no better day than today to start the daily habit of reading to your child. If the busy-ness of life has gotten in the way of this practice, however, that’s OK! With International Read to Me Day, we can reprioritize reading aloud to our kids.

Why is reading out loud important?

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald

There are many reasons why reading out loud is important:

  • Builds a large vocabulary
  • Strengthens the brain
  • Enhances the imagination
  • Provides entertainment
  • Promotes bonding
  • Boosts attention spans
  • Broadens understanding of the world

How can you incorporate bilingual books into your reading routine?

As parents (or prospective parents) of children who attend language immersion preschools, we value exposing our children to bilingual books and resources at any opportunity possible. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to know just how to do that. Here are a couple of tips:

  • If you can speak the target language but are having trouble accessing reading materials, first, see what is available at your local library. If options are limited, check online at AmazonĀ and Half Price Books. These two companies provide a wide range of bilingual books and resources. Also, look for book subscription services in your target language. The New York City-based KinderBooks does this for German books, for example.
  • If you cannot speak the target language, don’t worry! See how you can utilize community resources, such as libraries’ bilingual story times. If such activities don’t exist in your local community, consider children’s bilingual audiobooks. No matter what, don’t use not having these bilingual resources as reasons not to read aloud to your child. Reading in English is just as wonderful and beneficial.

This year, make International Read to Me Day count. Whether you will be reading aloud in English or another language, the beautiful thing is that you’ll be reading.

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