Early Reading Habit Is Essential For Your Child – Part 2
A popular quote by an unknown author says “a child who reads will become an adult who thinks.” This is so true as the habit of reading helps develop children’s brains and minds, as it widens their horizon beyond their immediate environment.
Adebowale, who is driven to encourage early child reading by orientating parents and guardians through her online platform, noted that reading to children should be guided by their age-appropriate books. That way it increases participation and makes it fun.
“From zero to six months, bright coloured picture books with little or no text and interactive books can be introduced. Books with dummies, puppets, cloth books will serve very well for this stage. Babies are generally drawn to colours, the inflection of your voice and the warmth of your body during reading time.”
The parenting enthusiast who retails children’s books, educational games and learning aids stressed that from seven months to one year, more interactive books should be introduced. Colourful picture books with simple everyday words are best suited for children of this age.
The more the book is read to them, the more they come to understand the words in the picture they see. Children of this age will want to handle the books themselves and have fun flipping the pages, so board books or cloth books are the most suitable picks for them.
Ages one and two, can be introduced to books with two to three simple sentences per page and more interactive books like touch and feel books, slide and seek books, sound books and so on. Books with rhymes, animal sounds, colors, words, shapes, numbers, and the likes are great picks for this age.
She added: “It is very important to make reading time very interactive for kids. I always say, there’s so much to find in a book. In just one book, you can find peekaboo, a song, silly faces, numbers count, role play, choreography, the list goes on and on. There’s really no telling what you can find in a book, what matters is creativity.
“Beyond just reading the words engage your child, play, have fun and you’ll be amazed at how much they’ll learn. From age two to three more sentences can be introduced, stories that have activities in them, songbooks, pop up books and more board books are very appropriate for this age bracket.
“Reading is an investment in your mind. Sadly, many parents restrict reading to just academic materials and don’t see the need to invest in other books. This will eventually cause an imbalance because exposure to books will help your child understand how to apply knowledge and learning to their everyday lives.
“Also, a lot of parents claim to be too busy, but really it’s just about deliberate effort. A commitment to buy books and read to your child 15 minutes every day is a good way to start. If you can keep up for a whole year, you’ll have read to your child for 5, 475 minutes that year.
Adebowale who also visits schools within Abuja for read out loud sessions with children added that reading to your child does enhance parenting. Also, reading with or to your children can provide parents with the opportunity to teach their children moral values and lessons from the stories, thereby growing their character.
“It’s the summer holidays again, and I want to encourage parents to invest in their children’s minds and harness their potentials. The summer slide is real, but having a good and engaging reading plan will keep their brains very active and make them better versions of themselves.”
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