Books are beautiful and beneficial. They are so good for children in so many ways. It is really important as a parent to help your child develop a love for reading as early on as possible. With enthusiasm and confidence, children can enjoy a wonderful world of exploration and knowledge.
Here are a few benefits that books have on children:
▪ Getting your child to sit down with a book can be calming and a good break from their busy day.
▪ A good story can stimulate your child’s imagination, provoke curiosity and discussion.
▪ Reading is a great bonding technique – for Parents/Grandparents/Teachers etc..
▪ Books inspire and open your child’s mind to thought and reflection.
▪ Reading a variety of different books will expose your child to a variety of vocabulary.
▪ Reading books helps your child with literacy skills and language development.
▪ Exposure to books contributes to the understanding of print concepts (eg. left to right, top to bottom).
▪ Stories fill a child’s mind with lots of knowledge.
A common question asked is: At what age to we introduce books to our child?
Many new parents wonder when is the right time to begin reading to their child. With experts recommending reading to children as one of the top ways to encourage language development and cognitive skills, the most common answer to this question is the earlier the better.
Reading to children from an early age has many benefits, even from the first days of life.
• Even though newborn babies can’t see objects that are more than a foot away from them (therefore won’t be able to see and focus on the book), they enjoy listening to you speak. As your child grows, and is able to see better as well as sit up better, the visual aspects of reading will come into play.
• Studies have repeatedly shown that children who are read to earlier have better vocabulary and reading skills later in life.
• Reading to an infant begins the process of learning phonetics and sentence structure, and teaches the basics of language. Therefore reading to infants can help them to acquire the most basic language skills, upon which the rest of their future ability to read, speak, and comprehend language will grow. The younger you start reading to your baby, the sooner these skills will start to build. Your baby is always listening, and whether you are reading, or simply talking to baby or to someone nearby, your baby is picking up the sounds and phonetics that create words and language.
Reading children’s books have several advantages over simply speaking:
• Books use repetition, rhythm and rhymes which is a great way for your child to learn.
• Books allow connection of words with images.
• Reading books is a focused activity that increases your child’s attention span
As children grow, books impact children in different ways. We know that reading is an essential skill for success. Here are some additional benefits that books have on children:
1. Books help children feel safe and secure
Young children are looking to make connections with characters in texts that are ‘just like them’ and follow the same kinds of daily routines. Children will particularly benefit from books that include familiar themes and experiences.
2.Books can remind children they belong to a group or family
Children who are secure still experience the need to belong. They look to find themselves included in family and school. This also affirms the universality of their need and helps them know others have similar needs.
3. Books can help children learn about love and loving themselves
Children can see the significance of their own experience reflected in stories about families who love each other. Books about love encourage conversations about how love is shared, and deepen an understanding of how to love others.
4. Books can help children discover heroes and introduce achievements
The first hero in a child’s life is his mother or father (generally). But books about other characters that struggle and face difficulties but rise to the challenge can present new examples and circumstances from which the child can learn.
5. Books can foster children’s particular interests and passions
Children often choose a particular topic or theme as their “favourite” and become engrossed in everything about that topic. For example, young boys often love cars and trucks and want to know about the different makes of vehicles and mechanisms that cause them to work. Books can provide that wealth of information, and begin a lifelong love of learning and delving deep into topics that matter.
6. Books can be a mental break for fun!
Children love to laugh, sing, and play games, and there are LOTS of books that encourage the reader to do just that. Books offer a break from the more difficult tasks that children have.
7. Books can be examples of beautiful art and excellent writing
Children appreciate good writing and fine art as much as adults. Exposing children to well written and beautifully illustrated books early on prepares them for later enjoyment of literature and arts.
Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. “If you want your children to be intelligent,” he said, “read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales”. He understood the value of reading, and of imagining. It is our job to encourage our children to read, to be read to, to imagine, and to understand.