It's not what's on the outside, it's what's inside the book that counts!
What is one thing that most of us can remember from our childhood? Reading books! (that's me in the photo reading a book as a little girl) Perhaps you remember reading bedtime stories, or looking at books during quiet time? Or even your favourite childhood book?
Reading can be very beneficial to your child as it exercises their brains while they learn. Reading books with your little one will encourage an unbelievable amount of growth and learning, as children learn many skills through this simple but fun activity.
Here are 7 reasons why reading to your child is important:
1. Language Development
Reading books supports the development of language skills and expands your child's vocabulary. Through reading, your child will learn new words and begin to identify these words both within the book and in real life. Children also learn how to structure sentences and will begin to formulate sentences on their own.
2. Expands Imagination
A child's imagination expands and grows when having books read to them. As a book is read, our brains (even as a small child) formulate images of the places, characters and things, while we also imagine how the characters feel. All this information is processed by your little one, and they incorporate these things into their everyday play. Reading with your child also allows them to learn the difference between what is ‘real’ and ‘pretend’.
3. Understanding Emotions
Reading books aids young children to understand change and emotions and develop empathy. This happens as your child develops and begins to picture themselves in the situation of the characters in the story, and how they would feel in the same situation.
4. Expands Knowledge
In the same way, young readers learn about the world around them. They develop knowledge that everything is not simply just a chicken or a dog but a whole variety of possibilities. They learn that a fish does not just live in their fish tank at home, but also in the ocean with an endless amount of other living creatures.
5. Improves Concentration
Research also shows that reading with your child improves their concentration as they have to sit still and quietly to focus on the story. With each story shared together, your child is extending their ability to concentrate on a task.
6. Calming Effects
Every child has a melt-down occasionally when it seems like nothing can calm them down. And sometimes they are hyped up just when it's time for nap or bed. Reading is a fabulous way to calm your little one down and focus their thoughts on something different.
7. Promotes Bonding Time
And if all these reasons aren’t enough, reading is also an inexpensive way to spend time together and share a bond. Reading together allows you to form common interests, laugh at the same things, spend intimate time looking at pictures and talking about the story.
1000 Books Before School!
The Geelong library runs a great program called '1000 books before school' with the aim of encouraging reading with young children prior to them starting school to facilitate all of the benefits associated with reading. You also earn rewards for each milestone you and your child reach together! For more details and to register please visit the below website:
Does your child have a favourite book at the moment that is a must-have read?
Emily is a third year Occupational Therapy student with a passion for today's youth and children. You'll still find her curled up in front of the heater with a good book on a rainy day.