By: Kate Cawthorn
Reading children’s picture books with your child is an enjoyable activity that can have many benefits for both you and your child. Picture books are a great way to introduce your child to reading and can help to develop their literacy skills, as well as their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Let’s look at some of these areas more closely:
· Instilling a love of reading: Picture books are often visually engaging and can capture a child’s attention, encouraging them to enjoy the reading experience. This can help to create positive associations with reading, which can lead to a lifelong love of reading and learning. This positive experience isn’t only through the pictures and story however. It is through the shared connection with the narrator, whether they are parents, teachers, friends or family.
· Reading together is a bonding experience, and encourages a closer attachment between adult and child. Snuggling up on a sofa together and sharing a story is a very special thing!
· Reading children’s picture books with your child can help to develop their vocabulary and literacy skills. Picture books often contain simple and repetitive language, which can help children to learn new words and develop their understanding of sentence structure and grammar. This can also help to develop their comprehension skills, as they learn to understand the meaning of the text.
· This is also the case for the rhyme, rhythm and alliteration that can be found in may books. All of these are so important in the development of phonological awareness. This means that through reading stories, we can support our children to hear the patterns of sounds and syllables within the words, which are building blocks to literacy success.
· Children’s picture books often contain imaginative and creative stories and illustrations, which can stimulate your child’s imagination and creativity. Reading these books with your child can provide opportunities for them to explore different worlds, characters, and ideas, that may not be a part of their world otherwise. Books are ‘windows and mirrors’ into other cultures, environments, and times.
· Reading children’s picture books with your child also supports their emotional and social development. Picture books often contain stories that explore emotions and relationships, which can help your child to develop empathy and understanding. This can also provide opportunities for you to discuss and explore emotions and social situations with your child, which can help to develop their emotional and social intelligence.
Sharing books together is truly a wonderful investment!
Don’t forget about your local library, if you are wondering where to start.