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The Importance of Books in Child Development
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.
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.
Here are some reasons why books are so important in the development of your child:
- A book provides a child with valuable vocabulary, starting from simple basic words all the way to making sentences and expanding their ‘word bank’.
- Children’s imagination is stimulated and they can understand better the world they living in.
- Social skills are developed through story books and children are learning about relationships and emotions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lastly, books should be considered a treasure and if parents provide their children with treasures, then their children will cherish and love them forever.
Books for babies
Books for toddlers
Books for teenagers
The importance of Reading
Helping your Child Become a Reader-US Department of Education
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:
- 1yr old: fist words
- 18months old: use of two-word sentences with nouns, verbs and adjectives.
- 3yr old: use of more complex sentences with adverbs, pronouns and prepositions
- 4-5yr old: use of grammatically correct sentences
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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