How important is reading for children? Today we look at the importance of reading and how it enables us to be transported from our own world to another. Between the pages of a book, we can become immersed in the lives of fictional characters and learn about a culture entirely different from our own, letting our imagination run wild. It also lets us learn new words and phrases, experience a range of emotions, and acquire skills and knowledge – something that is important for both children and adults alike.
What Are the Benefits of Reading for Children?
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. Which is why the importance of reading for children cannot be underestimated. There are multiple other benefits that reading can have on a child’s development, including:
Supported cognitive development - Cognitive development refers to how we perceive and think about our world in reference to our intelligence, reasoning, language development, and information processing. By reading to children, you provide them with a deep understanding about their world and fill their brains with background knowledge.
Improved imagination and creativity – A child’s imagination is what makes them so special, which is why reading is so important for our little ones, go for a variety of stories. It widens their imagination and enables them to dream big and fostering creativity that ensures they never stop exploring the world.
Improved language skills - Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary. This helps them build their own dictionary of words and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. Even if your child doesn’t understand every word, hearing new sounds, words and phrases will encourage them to copy what they have heard.
Developing a special bond with your child – for any parent, being able to develop the special bond you have with your child is extremely important. Reading allows you to create special moments with your little one and provides an opportunity for one on one time. Reading and discovering stories for the first time becomes an unforgettable memory for both child and parent.
Cultivating a lifelong love of reading – for many of us, our lifelong passions start at a young age. A passion gives us a reason to keep learning and to work toward mastery. It gives us something in common with other people, and so fosters social bonds, something that will be important for your child as they grown into a young adult.
What can I do as a parent?
As a parent, we can educate and help develop our children from the day they are born and they’ve never too young to learn! Did you know your baby can hear sounds as early as 18 weeks? Even before they're born, babies learn to recognise their parents' voices, talking regularly to your bump will help them recognise your voice and comfort them.
The goal as a parent is to motivate children to want to read so they will practice reading independently and, thus, become fluent readers as they get older. Here are some tips to enjoy story time with your little one:
1. Encourage your little one to choose what they’d like to read, that way they will feel more interested & excited in the story. This is also a great way of seeing what particular topics/stories they’re interested in and can help you decided on new stories to buy.
2. Try to read in a distraction free zone, this will help keep them interested and enable them to take in the whole story. This is why parents gravitate to bedtime stories, not only can it help fostering a routine it’s the perfect time to ensure a quiet relaxing environment
3. Remember to ask questions about the book! That will help your child understand the context of the story and gives them a safe space to talk about how they feel about certain topics within the story fostering a stronger bond with your little one
With all this said, we’ve decided to give you a few of our most loved books, available at Pepa & Co. These choices are especially great for aiding your child’s speech development:
Elephants Can’t Fly is an inspiring story about trying hard and not giving up. Little Elly is told that elephants can't fly, but why not? Follow Elly on her mission to fly, beautifully drawn in sweet pastel colours.
My Friend Bunny is a lovely tribute to friendship and fun, illustrated in beautiful colours. My Friend Bunny is a scrumptious story about a very special friend. Bunny is full of adventure and play, from painting to dress-up to craft and singing.
The Scruffy Puppy looks at love and loyalty. It's not much fun being The Scruffy Puppy, his friends just see his worn fur and chewed ear, but when they learn why Puppy is scruffy, they soon realise what a hero he is.
The Very Brave Lion is a poetry fable with plenty of heart and beautifully sweet illustrations. In The Very Brave Lion, a little cub talks to his dad about growing up, learning that it's ok to be scared sometimes, and that kindness and love are all that matters.