I spent years working with children, in the Early Learning sector and my favourite time was reading stories to the children during Group Conference. The children were able to come together as a team and discover, learn and problem-solve. To use their imaginations and wonder in the delight of stories. Many funny and insightful conversations came from story time. It was through my time as an Early Childhood Educator and the special times I shared with my own mother, who’d read to me every night; book after book until she could barely speak, My appreciation for story-telling grew and set me on a path of creativity.
I find the best bonding experience you can share with your children is through reading books, exploring the pages, the pictures, the words, learning new sounds, new words, and new ideas. It’s not only educationally enriching, but the special bond that you nurture through the quality time spent together is fundamental in their early learning year
So why is reading important in babies and young children?
Emotional well-being: sharing stories help children understand different types of emotions, like change and new events, for example moving house or starting school, which can sometimes be frightening.
Sparks your child’s imagination, and stimulates their natural curiosity, helping brain development.
Helps your child become familiar with sounds, words and language and literacy to develop their ability to listen to and understand words.
When to read?
I love to read at bedtime, I find its best time to share a story or two, or three. It’s when we are relaxed and calm. I feel like when I sit down before bed and read a story it’s when my little one feels comfortable to share her thoughts too. It’s when we get to really talk, with the busyness of our days, it’s hard.
If you have older children, they can share books with your younger children, or you can all read together. My 18 month old daughter will often sit on my 4.5 year old daughter’s lap and my eldest will read to her!
Even reading a few minutes here and there is effective-you don’t always have to finish the book. As children grow, they’re typically able to listen for longer.