Benefits of starting to read at an early age
Starting to read at an early age has numerous benefits on a cognitive, emotional and social level. A series of essential skills for their development are acquired. In Materlu’s blog, you can find a list of benefits that are obtained thanks to reading at an early age. We can summarize them in the following sections:
1. Language development:
Reading enriches children’s vocabulary and improves their verbal communication skills. Children who read from an early age have greater verbal comprehension and can express themselves more easily.
2. Cognitive skills:
Reading stimulates critical thinking, imagination, and creativity. Children who read often develop abstract thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning skills.
3. Concentration Improvement:
Reading requires attention and concentration, which helps children develop and strengthen these skills. As they get used to concentrating on reading, their ability to focus on other tasks also improves.
4. Emotional development and empathy:
Reading exposes children to different emotions and situations, which helps them understand and manage their own feelings. Also, reading stories about different people and cultures fosters empathy and understanding towards others.
5. Expansion of knowledge:
Reading books, whether fiction or non-fiction, allows children to gain knowledge on various topics. Reading exposes them to new ideas, concepts, and cultures, broadening their horizons and promoting continuous learning.
6. Developing writing skills:
Frequent reading exposes children to different writing styles, sentence structures, and grammar. This helps them improve their writing skills and develop their own writing style.
7. Improved ability to concentrate and patience:
Reading books takes time and effort, which helps children develop patience and perseverance skills. It also teaches them to wait for the end of a story and to follow the plot closely and continuously.
8. Improvement of academic skills:
Early reading is linked to better overall academic performance. Children who read from an early age often have better reading, comprehension, and writing skills, giving them an advantage in their formal education.
These are just some of the benefits of starting to work on reading at an early age. Fostering a love of reading early in a child’s life can have a lasting impact on their intellectual and emotional development.
Bonds created through reading at an early age
We might think that reading is not an activity adapted to the youngest, at least until they are old enough to understand most things and know how to speak correctly. But reading allows you to create links from birth because it is not really about making your children read but about sharing that moment with them, which will be beneficial to them in different ways depending on their age.
From their first months, reading a book with your babies will strengthen your bond with them as they will find themselves in your arms and hear your voice. This will calm them down and make them feel safe. At first, the baby will want to manipulate the book, throw it on the floor and some images will arouse their curiosity.
When the child is in their first year of age, they will begin to turn the pages and will want to understand the pictures. When they start talking, they will open the book on their own and tell the story to themselves based on what they see in the illustrations. The book turns out to be a good tool to develop the child’s knowledge and accustom them to the basics of their mother tongue before starting school. You will learn the dynamics of starting on the left page and turning the page to the right. We advise familiarizing the child with reading before they start school, since they will interpret this activity as a shared quality time, and at school, books will be used to learn to read. Consequently, the child will view schoolwork in a positive light.
Active participation during reading
In order for the book to become a tool and a means of learning through play, you can repeat the names of the animals, the colors, and the names of the transport several times and memorize them. To speed up learning, you can relate the vocabulary learned with the objects or experiences of daily life. Some pages will interest children more. Focus on these pages because they will be more attentive to what you teach them and do not hesitate to play the role of “actor” or “actress” by changing your tone and imitating the character’s emotions. Have children participate by asking them questions about the characters: “Who is it?” or asking them to give you a short summary about what happened previously. In addition, so that your children feel identified with the story, you can personalize the stories thanks to Materlu. Personalizing stories has multiple added benefits since the child feels identified with the story and becomes motivated towards reading. You can even customize the physical appearance of the protagonist so that they resemble your child as much as possible. Click here to see an example of how to customize physical appearance.
For slightly older children, you can take breaks throughout the reading to share your impressions about the story or to let your children express their perception of the situation. You can also encourage them to guess what the book is about by looking only at the cover before starting to read or invite them to suggest an alternative ending once they have finished reading. To work on language skills, you can follow the text and stop on some words and check for understanding
In most countries, reading is usually taught around the age of 6. Reading before this age is not essential, obviously. However, if they are curious about books, it is an advantage to be able to introduce them to reading. This way, they will have some basics before learning and will be able to enjoy the benefits of reading at an early age. Likewise, it will help support their reading and writing in school. We must not forget that every child is different and that it is essential that they progress at their own pace. We recommend supporting those who want to continue discovering reading and encouraging those who do not find it interesting, using some of the strategies previously mentioned in this section.
To conclude, books are an essential learning tool at home, since it allows children to accelerate their learning process, work on language skills, deepen the knowledge they have acquired at school, and strengthen family ties. The choice of personalized books fosters the development of imagination and creativity. However, reading will be effective if the book is well chosen and adapted to the child’s age. Mistakes can’t be made when choosing the story, since you will have the option to read the summary and even view the book in digital format before proceeding with the order, to make sure that your child likes it. Thanks to Materlu personalized books you will be able to observe how the benefits of reading at an early age are really fulfilled in your children.