As parents, we know that reading a book to our child before bedtime is a good routine to put in place. We also know that after the ‘witching hour’ (feed, bath and bed), our energy levels aren’t at their highest. As a matter of fact, reading a story, sometimes three times in a row at your child’s insistence, is the last thing you want to do.
So how important is it that you introduce the concept of reading to a child from a young age? Does it really make a difference in their development? Studies and research say yes.
These studies show that early language and literary development start in the first three years of a child’s life. Now this isn’t to say that your toddler should be reading and writing words. This literary development comes in the form of your young child enjoying books being read to them, exploring pictures within those books and the bonding experienced when a parent spends the time reading to them.
Reading to your child teaches them all kinds of vital skills. They learn how to physically handle the book and turn pages. It helps increase their concentration and memory. You will find your child pointing to the pictures as you read the words, showing that even at such a young age they have an understanding of the story and recognise different elements and characters. Read to them often enough, and you can even video them babbling along and pretending to read themselves.
Still not convinced? Did you know that most children’s books contain 50 percent more unusual or rare words than children’s TV shows, or even college students’ conversations? Which means your child is growing their vocabulary each time you read them a new story. And the better your child’s vocabulary is by the time they reach school going-age, the better chance they have at exceeding in their academic life.
Now that you know the importance of reading to your children, where should you start? There are many books out there to choose from. They need to be age appropriate, picture-filled and have a fun story line to follow. With this in mind, Toptots has developed a set of books that will be perfect for your child. They are soft-covered and small in size – meaning your tot will be able to handle them with ease. Each book has a different story line so that your child (and you) won’t get bored with the same story every night. And most importantly, each book is created to help them learn. They include Tom-e on Safari; Tom-e and friends; Tom-e has a picnic; and Tom-e learns shapes and colours. To purchase this book set from our online store, click here.
Next time you and your child have a free moment, be it a Saturday afternoon or a bedtime minute, introduce them to the world of books and literature. Enjoy the bonding moment found in sharing a story together. And do it knowing you are helping them out in the long run.
Toptots Early Learning SA