Children and reading
"The more that you read, the more you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr Seuss.
To celebrate World Book Day on the 5th of March, we want to highlight the importance of reading to your children and the benefits of this wonderful activity.
1. Vocabulary development. Reading exposes children to a wide range of vocabulary that goes beyond their usual environment. They learn new words in various contexts, thus enriching and growing their knowledge of vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, and grammar. When reading together, explain the words that they do not know, give a few more examples of its use and then ask them to use it in a sentence to solidify the knowledge.
2. Language and communication. Reading promotes listening and speaking. After reading a book or a chapter together, ask your child a few questions about it, to see if they listened well and understood the story. Books can also be your helper when your child is struggling with a particular topic- from being scared of the dark to potty training to a loss of a loved one. Well written and age-appropriate books and stories, usually also quite visual, can help you communicate with your child and tackle the issue together.
3. Creativity and imagination. From wizards to princesses, from superheroes to talking vegetables- there is probably a book about everything out there. Children's unlimited imagination and creativity should be nurtured and expanded by reading them stories about all sorts of weird and wonderful adventures. Creativity is becoming a fundamental element in schools and books provide a wonderful stepping stone for its development.
4. Cultural awareness. Books are an amazing platform to learn about the wider world. If you have more than one language at home, make sure that you read to your child in all of them, so they can learn not only the vocabulary but also the cultural elements. You can get books by different international authors, about historical characters, world geography, animals of the world and so many more things that would enrich the culture and understanding the world around us.
5. Family time. Children generally love listening to stories and it is a wonderful opportunity for some quiet family time together. Put away all the distractions (especially screens) and enjoy a book together. You can then have a wonderful discussion about anything- from favourite characters to creating an alternative ending to the story or its continuation. Cherish these precious moments as they will not last forever. To encourage the love of reading, do not forget to lead by example!