Something that has been instilled in me ever since learning about early childhood is the importance of books. Whenever I provide an activity for learning, I always try to accompany it with relevant books. Something as simple as adding the book below, can add a whole new dimension to the play and keep the child’s interest for much longer.
Children crave language from an early age, and books provide the catalyst for language. Some children will explore the toys first, whereas others will go straight for the book and bring it to an adult. A book, as an extension of an activity, can provide a calming, more relaxed play for the child.
Being read to, even at a very young age, is soothing for a child. Also, it is obviously a great way to learn language and social skills. For the children who play first and then turn to the book (either on their own or with an adult), they can consolidate their learning through ‘reading’. Have you ever had to read the same story over, and over, AND OVER!?! Children love the predictability of knowing a story and sharing it with you. It is important for the child’s learning, even if it can get boring for you.
Even if a child cannot read print, they can ‘read pictures’ from a very early age. Visual clues help them understand what is happening and they will often act out the story of the book with the resources provided for the activity.
READING IS FUN!! BOOKS ARE FUN!!
There are such a wide range of books available, the beauty is that whatever your child is interested in, and whatever you want to teach them, there will be a relating book. Books can often help a child going through a period of transition,too, such as a new baby or going to school.
It’s important to give children a love of books, not only to be ‘school-ready’, but more importantly to build their imaginations, social skills and ability to problem solve. These are the skills that will help children become adaptable and resilient n the future.