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Why is reading so important for young children and how to build this habit?

Educational preschool explains the importance of reading and how to inculcate the habit at an early age

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” – Joseph Addison

Language is the most powerful tool human beings possess. And reading is one of the most fulfilling and effective means to master this tool. The habit of reading, if inculcated at an early age, helps in brain development and enhances imagination. It’s never too early to read to a child and to build this habit. It’s a gift for a lifetime.

Kids ‘R’ Kids, a preschool learning center, shares some of the amazing benefits of reading for young children:

1. Cognitive development

Children acquire a deep understanding of their world and receive background knowledge. This helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read, which aids their cognitive development.

2. Better vocabulary

Reading at an early age not only helps children learn new words and new ways to express themselves, but it also improves their grammar and teaches new concepts. 

 3. Enhanced empathy

Reading allows children to understand various emotions. This helps in their emotional and social development since they learn to associate their feelings with words and find a way to express themselves better. Books showcase various characters and perspectives which allows children to be more empathetic. The cause and effect concept in stories helps develop their analytical skills besides encouraging curiosity, which is crucial to learning. 

4. Bonding between parent and child

Reading time is a beautiful ritual that allows parents and children to connect and unwind. Children love to hear stories from parents while parents find it relaxing to be in a space of fantasy and wonder. Stories trigger conversations and questions that help a child learn and express. Not only is this ritual enjoyable but it also triggers a positive association in a child’s mind. 

5. Sparks curiosity

Only a curious mind attempts to learn. Stories are an insight into parts of the world that are yet unknown to children. A variety of topics present possibilities to children and intrigues them. A book on famous artists, butterflies across the world or the universe may inspire children to explore further and learn more. It also allows children to learn about different cultures and people.

6. Develops concentration

Regular and consistent reading helps to improve children’s concentration abilities. As they sit still and listen for long periods, it builds patience that benefits them at school.

7. Creativity

Reading a book encourages the use of imagination. Characters, costumes, buildings, situations, and dialogues create a visual impression while reading. This imagination sparks further creativity that may help build other life skills.  

8. Reduced screen time

Children’s brains need stimulation to learn and grow. In times of gadgets and games, children have become addicted to screen time that hampers their brain development. They tend to stay home and not interact with their peers. They become physically unhealthy as they spend hours on screen. On the other hand, books inspire children to learn and develop, and explore the world around them.

How to build this wonderful habit at an early age?

At Kids ‘R’ Kids, the curriculum for all age groups (infants to grade 5) revolves around cognitive, physical, literacy, language, social, and emotional development. And story-telling and books are an inherent part of its preschool culture. Here are a few tips on how parents and teachers can build a reading habit in children:

1. Start early

Reading to a young infant may seem like a futile exercise but really isn’t. Children love to hear their parents’ soothing voices and watch their expressions for cues. This habit creates a sense of routine and security for them, which will ensure they continue enjoying reading as they grow older. Investing in some cloth books, touch-and-feel books, puppet books, and board books with ample illustrations would be a good place to start.

2. It’s all in the picture

Young children respond well to pictures and colors. Books with rich illustrations such as pop-up books or books with 3D images are an ideal buy. The association children will make between visuals and the limited text would help them learn new words and expressions during the reading time. 

3. Let them choose

Allowing children to pick up books of their choice will always ensure more interest. This ability to choose gives them a sense of power and makes them stick to their decisions.

4. Once more

All children have their favorites and will, without a doubt, ask for the same story repeatedly. This indicates an understanding of the story and the desire to learn more about the story. There is an invisible connection they are making between words and real situations. 

5. Set an example

Children learn by imitation. When they see their parents read, they will be curious and will want to imitate. Habits and enthusiasm are always contagious.

6. Learn how kids read

Knowing about the reading skills that a child must possess at a certain age helps a parent choose the right books. This knowledge enables parents to keep track of their children’s development and make amends if the need be. The team at Kids ‘R’ kids would be delighted to make suggestions and provide information on this.

Why Kids ‘R’ kids?

The philosophy of “Hug First, Then Teach”, defines every aspect of what Kids ‘R’ Kids, Valrico stands for. Unlike many daycare centers or childcare providers, its methodology is a whole-child approach. It constantly strives to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being through the expertise of its childcare providers and a unique partnership with parents.

Kids ‘R’ Kids International is accredited by AdvancED®, the world’s largest education community, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI). SACS/CASI is an accreditation division of AdvancED®. This accreditation ensures that the high accreditation standards are met and exceeded.  

Call today at (813) 654-7000 to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids preschool (Kindergarten to Grade 5) or to schedule a visit.