(Article first published on Big Sky Publishing website 25/7/2019)
Children’s Author and Speech & Language Pathologist, Sonia Bestulic shares valuable insight.
Where do I start?! When I think about children’s books and the immeasurable benefits they impart on the development of our children, I really need to manage and organise my internal information overload. The topic is literally a book within itself! (Watch this space!)
So, let’s start by simply saying; children’s books are IMMENSELY important. They are the introduction to the world of language, communication and connection. The basic ingredients required for the school of life to interact with others, have our needs and wants met, learn about the world around us and build relationships.
Let me share just some of the amazing benefits of sharing quality children’s books.
· Boost and continuously build a child’s vocabulary (to understand a large variety of words; and be able to then use a large variety of words)
· Model how to put words together to make a range of sentences, using the right word order, and the right grammar
· Facilitate creative thinking, problem solving skills and basically foster innovative minds
· Strengthen inferential thinking, the ability to understand implied and subtle meaning of words and pictures
· Build predicting skills
· Increase a child’s attention and ability to focus
· Introduce words, letters and sounds at a visual (seeing) and auditory (hearing) level – foundation skills for eventually learning to read, spell and write
· Model how to sequence or tell a story
· Are an investment to building a child’s conversational and social skills; and educational opportunities
· Introduce children to the richness of the diversity of our universe, world, people, places and things
· Are hugely impactful in building empathy, and an appreciation and consideration of those we share the world with
· Gift our children with an array of teachings, messages and reflections, and
· IMPORTANTLY, create a close bond and connection with parents/ carers and families.
Nurturing a love of books from birth is totally do-able and recommended. As an experienced Speech & Language Pathologist, one of my most frequent prescriptions for young children and their families is book sharing. Yes, in the form of reading aloud to a child, but also – super importantly – to share books interactively, within a daily routine to maximise the extraordinary potential children’s books have to offer!
Happy book sharing!
Learn how to interactively share books with your child, download my free PDF guide.