Last year I shared a post about how in the Netherlands we have book weeks that promote books, sometimes certain genres. But that is not the only way reading is promoted here. As a new mom I got send a letter that I could pick up a book start suitcase for Merijn at the library where he is then also signed up for the library for free. Now that I have been feeling better we finally went and picked it up.
So what is book start? The book start program focuses on children from 0-4 years old to promote early reading. You can never start to early, not even with a baby. Research has shown that reading to your baby helps with their speech and language skills. Of course a baby can’t keep its attention on a book long but if you pick the right moments and are interactive you will see the attention span grow over time.
I have said before that I don’t hold expectations of my child becoming a reader like I am. But reading is important to their development at a young age and for that reason I am happy that this exists. And that is why I try and read to him at least once a day.
In this book start suit case there were two things. A Dick Bruna (author of Miffy) fabric book and a book that had ideas to play with your child at various ages. Sometimes it can be hard to fill in the time with a baby so I think that can be a great asset. But personally I would have preferred another book to read to Merijn. The plays they had in there for his age I already did variations of. But they change the books in it at least once a year. On the site for book start (Dutch) you can also find various tips on how to use the books.
Does your country have something similar set up? How was reading promoted to you at a young age?