Must You Read to Your Children?
Once upon a time, a legend named Walt Disney said, ““There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on treasure island”.
The lives of our children are like the pages of an unwritten book. Ready for tales, experiences, journeys, and learnings to be penned down on them, as they grow. They soak in practically everything that comes their way, the things they see, hear, smell, taste, and, touch.
All it takes is a few books, motivation, and a little time for you to create a magic in your kids’ lives, to boost their brain development, your bond, and so much more. Every story time is a workspace for their brains and minds, taking in all the language they hear and lessons the characters teach.
Why Should You Read to Kids?
Children are first made readers on the laps of their parents. As rightly said, once they learn to read, they will be forever free.
Benefits of reading can be many. Following are a good bunch of them:
Reading gives a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to connect, slow down the races of your lives, and increase a sense of security. Reading aloud to children: The evidence states that reading can support a positive parent-child relationship and increases a feeling of security among kids.
Listening Skills and Attention Span
Before they can read by themselves, kids learn to listen and comprehend. This is a primary development that must happen to a child’s brain with experience and time. Reading improves listening skills and enhances it. While listening, they’re more likely to sit still, and develop a longer attention span.
Cognitive, Language and Vocabulary Development
Studies have shown that those babies who are read to, and talked to score higher in language skills and cognitive development, like problem solving. Think about it: The books you read often contain words you might not otherwise use in your everyday communications.
A new world is opened up for your kids in every story they are told. The creativity they are opened up to, is important for developing interests and ideas, as well as for fostering emotional health.
What Could You Read and When?
There are some things in this world, which can never go bad. Reading the right things to your kids is one of them. Follow the ideas below for age-wise reading:
Under 6 Months: Select books with bold or bright images with lots of contrast. Talk to your baby, and point to shapes or colors as you look at the pages of the books.
7 to 12 Months: Books with simple words, like ‘hi’, ‘mom’, or ‘dad’. Probably, an image that describes the word you speak could be on the pages you show them.
12 to 18 Months: Books with pictures of animals, flowers, trees and other children doing everyday things your kid could relate to. A simple story with progression of events will make it interesting for them.
Tips: You could point to a picture and ask “What’s that?” or tell them “That’s an apple!”. Have happy contents, especially things (toys or snacks or fruits) they like in particular.
Repeat the words they say back to them (“Yes it is a banana!! Good girl!!”).
18 to 36 Months: You can start with little story books, preferably with morals, and familiar characters that they see around them. They would better love books with lots of action, pictures, and lots of words on each page. They generally enjoy books with cause-and-effect relationships or a problem, and get interested to know how the characters overcame them. Repetition impresses this age. Thus, you can include books that allow you to rhyme, repeat, or sing in patterns.
Need Some Tips for Older Ones too?
Wondering what to do with your older ones, for whom you know the books you could read?
Make reading to older kids more enjoyable by doing some or all of the following:
Set and Time and Create Episodes: How fun would it be that you become your kids’ favorite story teller, for whom they wait for, every day at a time, getting ready in their favorite pajamas, to know the rest of the story that they are eager about!!
Make it fun by using different voices for characters, pauses, songs, or other dramatics to make the story come to life.
Give pauses for them to think and ask questions.
Show them the connections of those stories to your day to day lives.
Let them create the climax of some stories. Let them spread their wings of imagination.
‘Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible’, says Barack Obama. If you could open up the world of countless adventures they are about to embark upon, in their lives, I say, why delay it?