Although we are living in a digital era, one cannot deny the experience that reading books bring. The digital age has transformed all of us into visual creatures. Books are made into movies, Shakespeare turns into an online game and novels transform into PDFs and Kindles. Yet, no matter how advanced technology may be, the experience of reading a book just cannot be transferred over to the Internet and the new media. (Here, we are talking about reading a traditional print book). Since the experience of reading cannot be replaced, the importance of reading becomes so relevant for young children.
Reading has many practical benefits. For one, it helps young readers to gain literacy through recognition of words, structuring of sentences, expansion of vocabulary and understanding of narratives. The more a child reads, the more he or she will be in contact with words and sentences, easing the mastery of language later. Reading will also help the child in the development of speech and communication abilities. This helps them when expressing about him or herself in words.
Reading also helps to stimulate creativity and imagination. Most children fiction takes the reader into a new world where magic happen (animals talk and objects come to life), challenges are faced and villains defeated. While these stories provide entertainment and fun for the young reader, they also subconsciously affect the child’s worldview and way of thinking.
Encourage Critical Thinking
Stories usually follow a plot where the main character faces a conflict or a problem that will eventually be resolved. By reading various stories, the child is inevitably reading and coming face to face with different challenges. These challenges are usually targeted at childhood experiences. This include the first day of school, the favourite toy that broke and meeting strangers and giants.
Help Kids Learn Problem Solving Kills
Books do not stop at showing children problems. Resolutions and happy endings assure the child that things will eventually be okay. This is why children will continue reading books to the end. This is because they are curious about how the conflicts are going to be resolved. Reading different books will therefore expose children to different ways of solving problems.
Future-Proof Your Child
Reading also prepares the child subconsciously about what the world is like. As stories describe the things that characters see, hear, touch, smell and taste. They also narrate the emotions and feelings of the characters. This allows the child reader to understand the experiences of life that are to come. As a child grows older, he or she can find comfort in books. The importance of reading comes into play as the child realises others too struggle through similar difficult experiences.
At the end of the day, reading gives the child a hope that everything will turn out well if they endure the hardships and difficulties. Even if there is no happy ending at the end of a book, there is always something precious to be learnt.
Books do not only teach children the standard language, it inspires them about life. Therefore, it is never too early to read to your child. You can start telling your kids about life now and the importance of reading!