A Reminder Why Reading Is So Important For Your Baby (Or Toddler)
The benefits of parents getting their young toddler and babies to read children’s books are great and many, but what exactly are they? Image via nappy on Pexels
By now we all sort of know that reading is extremely important and beneficial to a child’s upbringing.
We know that children who are exposed to books from young tend to perform better in life compared to those who don’t.
Over the years, countless studies have demonstrated that kids who read or get read to by their parents experience a much more colorful childhood and understand the world around them better as they grow older.
But what is it about reading children’s books exactly that bring about such a positive effect on young toddlers and babies? Some parents right now might be reading to their children unaware of what it is exactly their accomplishing, but to help you out, here’s a few insights into the actual benefits.
Giving Them An Early Advantage
Right off the bat, if your kids are getting enough time for children’s books every day, you should know that they’re being conditioned to pick up knowledge about their environment and every-day life.
This doesn’t mean that your kids must read, or even that you read to them. Even just allowing them to flip through the pages of picture books or listen to children’s songs from sound books is enough to stimulate them mentally and develop a healthy curiosity about what they see and hear.
All this happens because even before they understand language, kids can already begin making connections between what they hear and the images they see, which in turn stimulates their curiosity to find discover other things they still haven’t learned about.
This fact makes for a very powerful learning tool early on in life, as babies and toddlers will find themselves willing to absorb information from almost any good children’s song book or picture book that you place in front of them, making it so that you can get them to begin learning more than just words.
Picture books, children’s song books, or bedtime story books all have ways to teaching babies and toddlers about life and how the world works.
For example, you can teach a kid how to sing, how to identify a different language, how to use their hands and fingers (via button press books), how to differentiate between colors, how to understand human values and morals, plus so much more. It doesn’t have to be all about printed words if you know how to vary your child’s reading repertoire with quality children’s song books, picture books, or bedtime story books.
While you can also achieve the many of the same results through watching YouTube or TV shows, actually picking up a book provides a higher level on engagement. Really, books keeps your children focused on finishing a reading session through effort rather than just being fed information without the need for them to do anything. Also, anything that reduces exposure to screens is a massive win at the end of the day.
Why It Benefits The Parent
Reading along with your kid doesn’t only do good things for them, but for you as well. A major plus point for taking time to read to your little ones is the fact that you as a parent can become an example to your children in terms of how to live life the right way.
When you read with your kids, you’re presented many opportunities to coach them. For example, you can teach them how to hold a book properly, how to read and pronounce words, how to identify shapes and colors, or why a character in a story acted in a way (and whether they did the right or wrong thing).
Use children’s books as a learning tool to teach your kids about life while helping you become a better parent.
See what we’re getting at? Simply put, you can use reading time to set yourself up as a role model to emulate in life—a guide during reading sessions that your kid can look at to keep them on the right path just in case things start getting confusing.
When you factor in these along with the quality time you get to spend while reading to your kids, you’ll soon see the value of actually taking the time out of your schedule—maybe an hour or two every day—to sit down with your child during playtime or before bed and share in a good children’s book together.
Trust us and treat these reading episodes as bonding sessions before your kids eventually become too old to enjoy them.
What You Should Read To Them
Obviously, babies and toddlers can’t pick up and consume information from just any book lying around—they must be given the right children’s book for anything to make sense.
Especially for babies and toddlers who are too young to make sense of anything, our children’s book recommendations include picture and song books with vibrant art and actual music modules included to engage them through sight and sound.
You should be aware that these books should contain content that’s catchy and easily repeated so your kids can learn more effectively. This is because children (and adults for that matter) learn best through repetition and memorable phrasing.
Good examples of these books include our very own Rasa Sayang Sing-and-Record children’s book or the Tepuk Amai Amai Sing-and-Record children’s book that both allow kids and parents to sing along and record themselves to Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian nursery rhymes and folk songs—giving everyone the chance to exercise their vocal chords while falling in love with Nusantara culture at the same time.
Once they get a little older, you can start reading your kids children’s books that teach them vocabulary and maybe even grammar. A good example of this is our Press-and-Learn English, Malay, Chinese Words sound book that actually lets little readers learn simple vocabulary in three different languages through the included sound module, giving them a head start in mastering languages at an early age.
baba baa’s children’s book collection provides immense fun learning through repetition, catchy rhymes, and engaging sounds.
Of course, you don’t have to rely on children’s books all the time. For the moments you’re stuck without one, you can take the opportunity to use anything around you to teach your kids valuable lessons in sight, sound, and language. An example would be using a restaurant menu to teach them about how a restaurant works, or billboard advertisements to teach them how to pronounce brand names.Your child’s daily reading repertoire is only limited by your creativity!
It’s All Worth
It In the end, we hope that this has been encouragement and a reminder to you as a parent about the unbeatable benefits of reading alongside your kids, and we hope that you’ve been re-inspired to add more reading time to your kid’s daily fun sessions and give them the early advantage they deserve. Happy reading!
- Dale John Wong