Reading is a tool that sparks imagination and stimulates curiosity in children. It allows them to think and travel through different realms of their imagination. Through reading the child interacts with various characters, decodes various situations and ultimately this influences their personality and plays a role in their cognitive development. Reading, if cemented as a habit in a child early on, continues into adulthood and instills a love for books and knowledge. It helps children not only develop vocabulary and prepare them for school but also helps increase their attention span. It forms an integral part of a person’s personality, an instrument through which the person copes with everyday stress, escapes into a world filled with possibilities and draws inspiration from. Reading allows the mind to expand; it enables people to test boundaries and plays a role in changing their perspectives.
We all have fond memories of our grandparents narrating folk tales to us. Listening to the fairy tales, stories from Panchatantra we, as kids, were also inspired to read about them, and that’s how the love for books and reading was inculcated in us. However, in the generation that lives in the digital world, reading has taken a back seat and fast-paced visuals that they can access just by a click have become the choice. Parents often resort to easy forms of engaging children like TV and digital games. So amid the clutter of smartphones, tablets, laptops and video games, revival of books has become crucial. Here are some tips for caregivers to help their child develop an interest in books and reading.
1.Establish a reading routine, a reading time. It may be just before sleeping or after returning from school, according to the parent’s and child’s convenience.
2.However busy is, don’t forget to out time to read out age-appropriate stories to your child.
3. Make reading fun by buying colourful illustrated books for your little one.
4.Go for books shopping with your child, and let him/her choose the book of their choice.
5.Storytelling sessions can involve parents and grandparents who then narrate stories, play roles and engage in enactment with kids.
6.It is important to create a reading friendly atmosphere at home. If space permits create a small library or books corner in the house where a child can sit at ease and read.
7.As the kid grows, join a library with your child, and make it a point to pick one book a week.
8.Understand your child’s interests and link the books she reads to those.
Reading is to mind what exercise is to body. Research has proven that reading not only helps in academics but also helps in grooming the child’s personality, increasing knowledge and fostering skill development. Reading also makes a great hobby that enriches life in ways more than one. Reading is, in fact, vital in shaping your child’s future. So just grab an interesting story book and help your kid read it.