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The Importance of Books in Child Development

Updated on April 24, 2015

A book is not only a companion but also a source of great knowledge. When children read books then you know that a miracle is going to take place.

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The Importance of Books in Child Development

We might be living in a time where computers and the Internet have become the source and means of people’s entertainment and knowledge, but the wonderful world of books is still alive and well.

During the first years of a child’s life, we, as parents, are providing our little ones with lots of different stimuli.

Books are the number one educational tool and children, as little as a few months old, they are fascinated by the colours and textures of a book.

Child development starts as soon as they are born and the importance of books in this process is vital. Babies might chew, throw or turn a book around but this will be the beginning of a long lasting journey to becoming a successful reader.


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Here are some reasons why books are so important in the development of your child:

  1. A book provides a child with valuable vocabulary, starting from simple basic words all the way to making sentences and expanding their ‘word bank’.
  2. Children’s imagination is stimulated and they can understand better the world they living in.
  3. Social skills are developed through story books and children are learning about relationships and emotions.
  4. The routine of reading a book with your child, at bedtime or at any other time, is emotionally nourishing and creates a long lasting bond. In addition, a parent can give examples of everyday life to the child that relates to the story. In this way, the child can recognize different situations as it grows up, and be better prepared to deal with or understand them.
  5. Different types of books offer the child a more wide knowledge and experience. This can help children be better prepared for school and enhance their curiosity for deeper subjects or abstract ideas.
  6. A book as a source of entertainment is very important and can replace the TV and computer for part of the day. It can be the time when a child builds castles and runs through forests in his/her head. A time to be alone with its imagination and create the scenery and characters as they please. A story that can be told in a million different ways.
  7. Lastly, books should be considered a treasure and if parents provide their children with treasures, then their children will cherish and love them forever.


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The importance of Reading

Helping your Child Become a Reader-US Department of Education

The US Department of Education has wonderful resources and guidance to help your child become a reader from birth to the age of 6. Click here to be redirected or here to download the pdf. This booklet can also be ordered for free.

A link between Reading Books, Language & Emotional Development

Does reading books help in the child’s Language and Emotional Development? The rate at which language develops during infancy and preschool years is amazing. These are the stages of Language Development of children:

  1. 1yr old: fist words
  2. 18months old: use of two-word sentences with nouns, verbs and adjectives.
  3. 3yr old: use of more complex sentences with adverbs, pronouns and prepositions
  4. 4-5yr old: use of grammatically correct sentences

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Research has shown that the frequent use of books for reading by preschool children eases the transition from one language developmental stage to another. In addition, it helps their development of verbal expression, enriches their vocabulary but also the improvement of the written skills in later stage. Furthermore, a love for books helps children to enrich their general knowledge.

What is the first and most important stimulus to children? The most important activity, to culture the love of books to our children, is to read aloud books to them from a very young age. Here are some points to bear in mind:

  1. Choice of Book: The first book that we choose to read to our little one and eventually read on its own is a very important one. The choice should be ideally a joint decision. A visit to the nearest bookstore or library to scan all the books available and discuss your options would be an amazing experience for them. Looking at the cover, the illustrations and maybe reading the summary should help you out in choosing a particular book.
  2. Reading Together: We try to read together with our child. We find a comfortable and quiet spot and commit to a time that will become a favorite habit.
  3. After Reading: Parents and teachers should provide children with plenty of stimuli in order to encourage their efforts and provide many opportunities for a conversation. Therefore, just a simple reading through the book does not help! Reading should be accompanied by:

· Comprehension questions: the aim should be 2-3 sentences that can lead to more questions.

· Emotional questions: asking about favorite characters, what they liked or did not like etc

· Key phrases: identify key phrases from the text

· Additional activities: using sounds to mimic animals from the book, drawing characters etc

How to Read a Book to Children

The role of the Parents

As a mother of a daughter with three languages available to her, I make sure that she has an experience in all languages. She is 2 ½ yrs old and she can entertain herself with all kinds of books in all three different languages. She can already have a conversation with us, sing and make full sentences and she still loves books. Then again, I would not expect anything less, as me and her father love to read books, tell stories and have conversations about them afterwards. I am not a child anymore but I still love the time that I spent reading a book.

As parents we need to create opportunities and space for a relationship between a child and a book to exist. We must encourage children to approach reading as a valuable experience, rather than a chore that relates to school homework. Parents and teachers need to explore all possible ways to pass the love for books to the young ones and share the pleasures of taking this journey.

© 2013 DemiT

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    • bizarrett81 profile image

      bizarrett81 4 years ago from Maine

      Thank you for this. It can be disheartening to see so many children that don't even seem to know what a book is. My son is 18 months old and LOVES books. He does watch television, but most of the shows he watches are things like Sesame Street and SuperWhy, which are educational as well as entertaining. But he loves to sit on my lap and read a book. And I try to make it a point to stop what I am doing (within reason, of course LOL), and read it to him. I feel this is helping him a lot, he can already identify a few letters and can count (in baby talk) to five. He loves looking at the pictures and will even pay close attention when I read and point at the words at the same time. Its one of the very few times he will sit still with me and pay attention. I will always try to push a love of books on him. Great hub!

    • DemiT profile image
      Author

      DemiT 4 years ago from Greece

      Thanks you for your kind words. I grew up with lots of books around and still love to read almost everything, so I hope that my daughter stays close to books and I am sure it pay off!!!

    • profile image

      suruchi samodia 2 years ago

      Nice sight

    • profile image

      Hayley Redigg 2 years ago

      Very interesting and insightful article. I have always loved books and always try to encourage others to do the same, especially children.

    • profile image

      lekshmi pillai 2 years ago

      highly informative and useful site

    • profile image

      Anushka Shrama 2 years ago

      Thanx...... what an interesting article on books. it helped me understand importance of books!

    • profile image

      lena 2 years ago

      매우 흥미로워요. 좋은 자료 주셔서 감사합니다.

    • profile image

      Ashish kamboj 2 years ago

      so nice

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      Very important for communication between parents too. That's why a Tablet is NOT a good substitute for a book.

    • DemiT profile image
      Author

      DemiT 2 years ago from Greece

      Thank you Hezekiah for stopping by. I am personally a person that loves books and especially in the print form. I will agree with you about the tablet but at the same time, there many positives in reading or having books in a digital format. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Dharchika 2 years ago

      This is very useful

    • awaqas1 profile image

      awaqas1 2 years ago from Gananoque, Ontario

      This is very informative advice for most parents as books are often used for lots more reasons than just reading and stimulate other senses.

    • DemiT profile image
      Author

      DemiT 2 years ago from Greece

      Thank you awaqas1 for reading and commenting!

    • Sir Took profile image

      Alfred Miller 2 years ago from Rowland NC/United States

      I love This Hub.So many children even grown ups can't read these days.This should be of great help to us that want better for the children coming up in the world.

    • DemiT profile image
      Author

      DemiT 2 years ago from Greece

      Thank you Sir Took for reading. I strongly believe that books are the beginning to most stages of our development. This never stops and as we get older we can only enrich our lives and skills through reading books.

    • Sir Took profile image

      Alfred Miller 2 years ago from Rowland NC/United States

      Very well spoken .You're welcome.

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      kari hernandez 2 years ago

      I am very impressed by how books influence the lives of very young children. I have 3 children 6, 4 and 2 years and like that mom or dad read to them at night.

    • DemiT profile image
      Author

      DemiT 2 years ago from Greece

      Thank you Kari hernandez! My daughter is almost 5 now and she still loves me to read to her every night before bedtime.

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      lokesh 2 years ago

      Thanks....this article more useful to understand how importance of books in our life

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