For your child, sharing a story together can be such fun! Not only is it a time for closeness, laughing and talking together, but it also helps give your child a flying start in life and help them to cement a lifelong love for reading. With World Book Day being celebrated today, it’s so important to make sure children are exposed to reading and stories from a young age.
Why is reading so important at a young age?
With the first 5 years of childhood being so crucial, sharing books and being read to at an early age is incredibly important for future development.
Research has suggested that children will excel in school if they have been introduced to books in their early years. When children go to school they have to learn to read, but by introducing stories for enjoyment beforehand, they will want to read. This ensures that your child will already have a positive relationship with various texts, books, and stories. Through these, children are exposed to a large variety of vocabulary, and this will help to develop their understanding, listening, and speaking skills.
Some of the important reasons for reading at a young age are:
- Helping to develop a young child’s brain- through stimulation of brain cells to help become better listeners, readers and communicators.
- Becoming better communicators, through learning new vocabulary and seeing written words.
- Fostering a love for reading, which is beneficial for future development.
- Igniting creativity, sparking curiosity, and stimulating the imagination.
How can I help at home?
Parents are their child’s first educators and one of the best things that a parent can do is share books regularly with their child. This will support everything that comes next at nursery, school and in later life. But supporting children with reading at home can be a daunting prospect. You might find yourself asking questions such as, am I doing it right? How should I be doing it? What books should I choose? How often should I be doing it? We have put together some top tips for supporting your child with reading at home to help answer some of your questions and alleviate some of your concerns.
- Join your local library or borrow books from nursery – this will ensure you always have a new supply of books to enjoy.
- Start reading with your child from when they are baby and introduce them to soft or sensory books.
- You can bring stories to life by using props, puppets or wooden spoons with pictures on.
- Read a book as part of your daily routine; when they go to bed, after dinner, first thing in the morning.
- Make books accessible to your child around the home.
- Do not put pressure on yourself or your child to look at or read an entire book in one go, just looking a book for a couple of minutes will have a positive impact.
- Find a place in your home that you can use as a reading corner that is inviting and somewhere that they look forward to going.
- Let your child choose the books that they want to explore and follow their interests, this way as they develop, reading which be much more enjoyable for them and will keep them interested.
- You don’t just have to read a book – parents can tell stories by using pictures or nothing at all. Children love it when you make up your own stories together
For other tips about how to encourage reading at home, PACEY have put together some free literacy resources to further support parents. Take a look at these by clicking here.
Blog written by: Jess Clayton, Nursery Manager at The Old Station Nursery Innsworth