Our first encounter with reading is probably when we were read to from story books as children; remember those bedtime stories? We then begin learning the alphabet, basic math, fun and fascinating facts about animals, plants and the universe. We ask ‘whys’ and ‘how’s’. In books, we find their answers. Textbooks accompany us all through education; starting from school right through higher studies. We learn to read, then read to learn, and keep reading to gain knowledge and remain relevant with the world. It’s only through reading that we gain exposure to information from different sources.
In children, reading helps develop creative and critical thinking skills as well as helping your child become familiar with sounds, words, language and the value of books. Reading can spark your child’s imagination, stimulate curiosity and help their brain develop. It will help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’. It will help them understand change and new or frightening events; and emotions that can go along with them. In addition to developing early literacy skills like the ability to listen to and understand words.
Make books accessible. Make sure your bookshelves are low enough for kids to reach the book that they want to read. Keep books by your children’s bedside, in the playroom — all over the house. Bring books with you on car trips, to the grocery store, or even to the doctor’s office waiting room. Rather than handing them a device, hand them a book they love. The more accessible you make books, the more you’ll see their reading frequency grow. Also, if your child needs a bit more guidance on choosing books, narrow it down to a nice range of selection and invite them to pick the book they want for that moment. It will change day to day and month to month, so be open and ready to grow and change along with your budding lifelong reader.