Are Children’s Books Important?
The Significance of Books for Children
Are children’s books important for a child to have at an early age? Can books actually help shape your child’s future?
You are now proud parents of a beautiful new baby, the newest member of your family. You will receive gifts from friends and family members to help celebrate that birth; toys and clothes and diapers and all of the things that a new baby needs. You will also receive books! I’ve never know a new baby NOT to receive some type of books to add to the new baby’s nursery. Will that book be a nursery’s version of War and Peace? Not likely. Those gift books will be more like fabric alphabet books and “What Animal is this?”
But does a new baby really need books? After all, they’re not old enough to read or even understand when read to by another person. So why do friends and family feel it’s so important that a new baby should have books on the shelves of their nursery?
Are Children’s Books Important Towards Early Childhood Development?
Because books ARE important to children from the day they’re born. As parents, we are responsible for the entire child, their health, their well-being, and their education. All these things are needed in a little boy or girl’s life to get them to be well-rounded, happy and productive adults, and believe me, this is not an easy task. So even though most parents are, of course, more interested in their baby’s health and safety, especially with a newborn, starting your baby off early with books is also essential as well.
Children take in their surroundings and all the people that are populating their world from birth. They understand through close contact and communication with their caregivers even if they are still too small to speak. All of their other senses are working overtime to take in all that is being said and done around them and to them. Holding a baby and talking, singing and reading to a baby which is so vital to their wellbeing. It’s not wasting time. It’s giving that new baby the person-to-person contact and communication that all human beings need. Their world is all about discovery!
By starting your baby at a very young age by getting used to you reading to them, letting the hear your voice inflections, your facial gestures and your body language, all helps them in their learning and growing. Indeed, there have been many studies that suggest you read and sing and talk to your baby in utero so that the baby get accustomed to you before birth!
What Type of Books Should I Read To My Children?
Once your baby starts to grow and get a bit older, you can start introducing them to other kinds of books and stories. Toddlers will often be attracted to a certain book or books and want to carry the darned things everywhere they go and they may also want you to read the book until you want to scream! Lol…that is totally natural. They may love the colors in the book or the characters or the story or all three! If you want to try to increase their choices, tell them you will read their favorite book after they pick another new one to read. This way they try different things more readily but can still rely on their old favorite for the last read of the night.
As the child grows, they will expand their vocabulary better, learn to identify words on their own, and begin to be attracted to things that may have a bearing on what they want to be when they grow up! For instance, if a child is attracted to animals, it could lead to them to becoming vet, or a child that is fascinated with fire trucks, you might have a firefighter on your hands. But maybe you child wants to learn to draw the things that they see when they’re reading, so then it’s possible that a new artist is on the way. So whatever your child is drawn to or tends to pick out of their reading shelf, this will help to inform and educate them for their future, as well as entertain them before going to bed.
Are Children’s Books Important Towards Childhood Development and Vocabulary?
Keeping a library in an area that is accessible to them is also important. Many times parents will put books away as the child still can’t read the words, but I’ve seen children who cannot read, but who still will pull a book out of their shelf and look at the pictures while talking to themselves about the story. They’ve heard the story before and are now comparing their remembrances while studying the pictures in the book which is a really good way to get them to understand processes by themselves. They are also learning to entertain themselves which is crucial to a healthy child.
Also, don’t be so quick to throw away a book that seems to be below the child’s current abilities. You can always go through their old books and remove the books that seem too young for them, but always leave a few of their favorites so that they can go to them when they want to read them again. Books become very personal for us and they are also that way for children. Sometimes they see themselves in a certain character, or what they would like to do or be in a book. This gives them the ability to daydream and maybe think what it would be like to go a place that they read about, or meet a character or an animal in person. I think it’s important to allow a child to visit a book, just like we visit with people we love. Maybe that book was a special book that grandma use to read to them, or daddy or mommy used to take turns making funny faces while reading to them. Just like grownups, kids need to feel safe and secure and this is a great way for them to do that while reinforcing what they already know.
So the next time you have a baby shower to attend, make sure you add a little book to the package. That is a gift that will keep on giving!