ParenTalk: Why Reading Is More Than A Hobby by Ekdali
This edition of ParenTalk has been contributed by Ekdali, explore the collection now!
Reading is not just meant as a development activity. Any reader can attest to this. It is so much more. Its not just about concepts or about building reading skills. There is a lot more that happens when kids read.
Reading is an active entertainment:
Adults and children alike need entertainment. We immerse ourselves in many forms of entertainment. The screen is a very active source of entertainment for all of us. Endless video streaming makes us into passive consumers of content. Passive content consumption makes us dull and often is detrimental for our growth.
However, reading is entertaining but it is not a passive entertainment mode. If you are reading to young children it can be a great way to interact with them as well. For example: if you are reading about dinosaurs, may be you can ask questions to kids that will help them think, imagine and explore. What do you think will happen to our cities if Dinosaurs roamed the earth today?
Fun Tip: You can also make up fun activities on the topic you are reading. If you are reading about solar system, you can consider making a model with clay or you can consider building some exercise sheets that the kid can work on.
If you are reading fiction you can act out your favourite characters and do dialogues with kids.
Reading helps kids build empathy:
Research done by scientific American indicates that reading literary fiction helps kids understand the thoughts and emotions of the characters there by building the kids emotional intelligence. The study further found out that it helps kids who read understand diversity and empathize with people who are different from them.
Whether fiction or nonfiction, reading offers a way to involve in the stories and experiences of other characters in the book. This helps kids connect with other worldviews.
Fun Tip: You can ask comprehension questions like, “ What would you do if you were in the character’s shoe
Reading helps in language development:
Reading about different topics helps your kids learn new words. When you read aloud with your child, you can point to words as you say them. This shows your child the link between spoken and written words, and helps your child learn that words are distinct parts of language. These are important concepts for developing literacy.
A study by Ohio university has found that young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to.. Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school.
Fun Tip: Try connecting the words you learn in the book to everyday life. Try to used them in a sentence. Mix and match and see if these words can be used in other contexts. Ask kids to use the words and make meaningful sentences. Reading not only helps in vocabulary, it also helps kids understand the way sentences are structured and get an innate understanding of grammar.
Reading Enhances Imagination and Visualization:
“I had imagined Hogwarts to be more grand and visualized the characters differently, but once I saw the movies I couldn’t imagine it to be any different than the movie”. How many of us have heard this statement. The written word leaves you free to imagine the scenes you want in whatever way you want to imagine them
Reading helps us practice imagination by letting the words describe a certain image while the reader manipulates the picture in the mind. This practice strengthens the mind as it acts like a muscle. Basically, books train your brain to imagine.
Fun Tip: Have a drawing game. Where you think of a character or a scene form a book you are reading together, and you and your kid both draw them separately. You can discuss the drawings and see how different they are .
Reading helps you bond with your child:
Reading together with a child can be a very intimate experience. You are sharing a new world with your kid. When a parent reads with the child, they are providing their full attention to the child, it is a great way for the kid to feel important and wanted.
Transitional times in the day are a great time to read with your kid, such as when you are putting the kid to sleep.
Blog contributed by Stella M, Content Head at Ekdali, and mom to two sons.