TWELVE… Danger turned TWELVE last week! I remember the first time I realized Danger could read. I will never forget that moment as long as I live! It wasn’t that it was poignant, or that he read something amazing that pulled on my heart strings, but it WAS the culmination of all of my MOM dreams… in the most awkward of fashions!
We were driving to Michigan from our home outside of Boston and as we cruised through the state of Indiana, we passed billboard after billboard advertising buy 1 get 3 FREE Fireworks for fourth of July. Imagine my surprise when I heard the little voice from the back of the car yelling loud “BUY ONE…GET 3 FREEEEEEE”. I think it took a few repeats for Rob and I to realize that it was Danger actually READING what he saw!
Reading has always been a passion of mine and as early as I can remember, I have carried a book with me everywhere I go. When I found out I was expecting, the very first thing I did was run to the book store and start to collect books I would share with our baby. Some of my favorite pregnancy moments were in the weeks before Danger arrived, when I would sit in my rocker and read to my belly in the nursery! I just knew that HE would love books as much as I would.
When he arrived almost 6 entire weeks early, and we rushed to the hospital with our packed bag and on the night he was born, hooked up to tubes and monitors, I read him his very first book! We didn’t have cameras in the NICU but that photo is forever in my heart and my mind. I like to think that sparked the love of reading but I know that our routine of reading to Danger at naptime and before bed, and encouraging him to play with his books helped fuel that fire as well.
Throughout his first five years, we sought out opportunities to read and interact in order to challenge him. His absolute favorite activity was always the Boston Children’s museum where we read, sang and played our way to education.
The singing, the reading, the talking about his day (even when it just involved stuffies and legos) are what made him the stellar passionate reader that he is today!
In working with First 5 California, I learned that 90% of the brain is formed by AGE 5!! That’s just nuts! And even crazier is that by age 3, your child will have 80% of their brain formed. It makes me so happy that First 5 California is focusing on encouraging parents (and their kiddos) to read for shorter segments every day, totaling 30 minutes. This helps exercise the brain and flex it’s ‘muscles’ so to speak! The really great part is that they are providing families with a free trusted resource to help give our babies the best possible start to life. First5California.com/parents is full of informative tips and activities – everything from brain development facts/myths and brain-stimulating activities for ages 0-5 to healthy, easy-to-make recipes and general wellness information.
Check out their Facebook and Instagram for more great info about the program and make sure to get more info on information on the resources provided by First 5 California and sneak a peak at the Talk.Read.Sing® for ideas on activities for your little readers! Most importantly, cherish those first moments of your little readers… one day they will be sitting in the back seat of your car, nose (and mind) buried deep in their kindle where you can’t reach them and time will slowly be slipping away! The good news is you will know you set them up for success!
Do you remember the first time you heard your little reader do it all by themselves? Where were you?