Dr Seuss has rightly quoted it, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax; all you need is a book!”
Summer is here! And while the best part of summer for our little ones is lazy days, messy hair and hands, chasing butterflies around, splashing around in puddles and enjoying popsicles, it is also encouraging them to pick up their favourite little storybook. A great way to keep away boredom and effectively utilise time, is inculcating in your child a love for reading and books that can help them in a multiple ways.
Reading exercises the brain
Research has shown that there are multiple benefits to reading to your child. When children are exposed to books from an early age, they are given the necessary boost that is required when it comes to enhancing their language and brain development. After all, “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” So with the heat increasing outside, get your tiny tots to begin their summer reading right away!
Diving into a good book for summer reading opens up the world to little readers. It helps them understand different concepts that they would probably have not been exposed to, had it not been for the pages of a book.
It might be a good idea to introduce your little one to a range of books that offer different kinds of experiences. As a parent, you can start with short story books that have a moral in the end and move on to books that introduce your child to new concepts.
Builds your child’s vocabulary
If you are reading to your child, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
• Choose which words in the book you want to introduce your child to. Look at 3-4 new words a week.
• Give your child a very simple definition of the word. Helping your child visualise the word goes a long way. Don’t forget to add an example so that your little one can understand the word completely.
• Encourage your little ones to use the words that they have picked up or been introduced to in their daily conversations. You can also change the language of your routines. Instead of saying, “It’s time to clean up your room”, you can say, “It’s time to organise your room.”
A gold standard for sparking off discussions, talking about the books that you are reading aids in the growth of logic and reasoning from a very early age.
Reading develops social skills
Reading can boost a child’s emotional understanding and develop in them empathy for others.
Here’s how you can help:
• As parents, when we read to our children, we should try and introduce new emotions to them and ask them how they would react in similar situations.
• Encourage your little ones to come and talk to you about the book that they are reading and what they liked or did not like about it. Books that have a moral at the end of it are perfect when it comes to discussing emotions.
Reading sparks your child’s imagination
Reading allows children to travel through the different realms of their imagination.
Here’s how you can let your child’s imagination take flight:
• Picture books are ideal when it comes to igniting your little one’s curiosity. Initially, you can start by choosing books with fewer words and more images and then move to those with more text.
• Encourage your little ones to enact situations. Role play and dramas based on stories from their summer reading books is another way to foster your child’s imagination.
• Storybooks with life-like characters take children on a fascinating journey of experiences and emotions.
Reading along with your child is an excellent way to bond
A great way to promote a healthy parent-child relationship, there are multiple benefits of reading to your child as well as help in building an unbreakable bond with them.
• Try and set aside 30 minutes a day for reading to your child. Before bedtime would be the best time. Reading to your child just before bedtime is a great tip for helping children fall asleep faster and sleep better.
• Make sure you take time to discuss whatever is happening on each page instead of rushing through the words.
• For those tiny tots who have already begun their summer reading list, reading along with your child in the same room can also instil in them a sense of security. A weekend would work best where the entire family could curl up in front of a book.
This summer, let us ignite in our children a love for reading, a passion for stories and a love for words. Let us encourage them to love picking up a book and finding comfort in it. Let us get them hooked on to books and stories at an early age.
Here’s to a summer packed with stories and fun! Happy summer reading all!
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.