How to select a Book for your child and Book recommendations for kids 2-4 yrs

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Children develop more rapidly during the first 5 years of their lives than at any other time. This crucial period in a child’s life is also termed as the “foundation years”. This is the time when their minds are just like sponges that soak in almost everything their environment offers to them. Be it during storytime, meals times, or playtime, babies’ minds are always at work. So, when you are telling a story, the minds of young children are working – absorbing all the language they hear and the lessons those characters in the story learn.

Thus, by nurturing certain skills during these foundation years, you build a solid foundation based on what your child can build on for the rest of his or her life. You can consider this as giving them a head start to learning.

Talking about giving a head start, reading is an essential skill that parents can nurture during these foundation years. Reading plays a key role in communication, understanding, writing, and speaking, and it also kindles creativity.

What are the Benefits and Effects of Reading on a Child?

Crucial connections in the brain are formed very early in life. On being stimulated, it is these connections that form the basis of all intellectual ability and future learning. What this means is that reading to your child at a young age stimulates these crucial brain cells and strengthens them to make connections with more and more brain cells. Stimulating a young child’s brain cells with these early experiences helps them to become better listeners, readers, and communicators and instills a lifelong love of learning.

Some other benefits that reading can have on the development of children are:

  • Assisted Cognitive Development. Cognitive development is the way we observe and think about the world in reference to our reasoning, intelligence, language development, and information processing. Reading enables children to have a deep understanding of the world and fills their brains with background knowledge. This knowledge is used to make sense of what they hear, see, and read, which in turn aids in their cognitive development.
  • Developing Empathy. As we read a book, we imagine ourselves in the story we are reading. This enables us to develop an understanding as we experience the lives of other characters. Children can then utilize this understanding to experience life and empathize in the real world with different people.
  • Building Stronger Relationships. Reading frequently to your child helps you to build a strong relationship and a bond with him or her. Reading offers parents an opportunity to have a regular and shared event that both the child and parent can look forward to. Additionally, it offers children love, attention, and reassurance which is essential for their well-being and nurturing.

The Top Ten Advantages of Reading for Children

Following are the top ten advantages of reading for children:

  • Vocabulary is larger and more extensive.
  • Children perform better academically.
  • The imagination of children improves.
  • Their creativity skills develop.
  • Children develop empathy.
  • Children get more considerate in the real world.
  • Concentration levels of children improve.
  • The bond between a parent and child improves.
  • The cognitive development of children is well supported.
  • The interaction and social skills of children improve.

What are the Benefits and Effects of Reading on a Child?

Reading is an essential skill that holds a lot of importance in a child’s life. Reading for pleasure can benefit a child’s social and cognitive development, education, well-being, and emotional and mental health. Multiple studies have found an association between reading for pleasure and higher academic achievement in every subject, not just English.

There are various other benefits that reading can have on the development of children, which include:

  1. Assisted Cognitive Development. Cognitive development is how we observe and think about the world about our reasoning, intelligence, language development, and information processing. Reading enables children to have a deep understanding of the world and fills their brains with background knowledge. This knowledge is used to make sense of what they hear, see, and read, which aids in their cognitive development.
  2. Developing Empathy. As we read a book, we imagine ourselves in the story we are reading. This enables us to develop an understanding as we experience the lives of other characters. Children can then utilize this understanding to experience life and empathize in the real world with different people.
  3. Building Stronger Relationships. Reading frequently to your child helps you to build a strong relationship and a bond with him or her. Reading offers parents an opportunity to have a regular and shared event that both the child and parent can look forward to. Additionally, it gives children love, attention, and reassurance which is essential for their well-being and nurturing.

How Parents Can Incorporate Reading with Their Child

Reading with your child at home supplements them with what they learn in the classroom and provides them additional one-on-one support that a school cannot offer.

Do try the following tips for effective and successful reading sessions:

  • First, start when kids are young. Reading should begin from the start when your child is an infant. An infant can listen to your voice and look at pictures. Read clearly to your child and point to the images displayed on the page and say the object’s name that appears in the book.
  • Second, integrate reading into your daily routine. Do try your best and read to your kid each day and keep it consistent. Integrate the reading bit into your child’s everyday routine until it turns into a habit.
  • Enable variation. Enable your child to read different books as much as possible.
  • Have patience. Your child may show no interest in books initially and may seem irritable at the sight of books. Do understand that you need to be patient with your child till he or she develops a liking towards reading.

Also Read: Best Activity Books, Activity Sheets & Toys for kids to Keep them Engaged

Book Recommendations for Children up to 1-Year-Old

Your baby is aware from birth, and the brain is making quick progress. As early as during the first week itself, your baby can respond to movement and focus on your face and eventually smile as you come close. The best age from when you should start reading books to your baby is around 3-6 months, or once they can focus on objects, such as a toy or a mirror. As your baby begins to enjoy the flow and rhythm of the day, from sleeping to feeding, try to make reading books with your child an essential part of their daily routine too.

Following are the books recommended for kids up to 1 year old:

  • Foam Books
  • Touch and Feel Books with Varied Textures and Patterns
  • Books with preferably one image per page
  • Sound Books

We recommend some excellent publishers for such books for kids up to 1-year-old is as DK, Priddy. Books, Ladybird Learners, and Wonder House Books.

Expert Tip: Make a small reading area in your house with various books in a basket and place some comfortable cushions. As your child starts to crawl, they will be interested in exploring the books in the area.

Book Recommendations for Children Between 2 – 3 Years Old

Once your child turns into a toddler, they begin to talk for meaning. As a result, they are most likely to select their favorite books over and over again. Repetition of stories can enable them to become confident readers. Toddlers learn and understand by repetition. This is one of the key reasons they have their favorite books! They can also recall the favorite parts of their books, for example, “I want to see the cars.”

Talking about pictures and stories with your child helps stimulate your toddler’s mind and helps them develop their imagination.

Following are the books recommended for children between 2 – 3 years old:

• Big Size Flap – Peek-a-boo Mirror Books

• Pop up – Peek-a-boo Books

• Theme based – Flap Books

• One line sentence Books

• Repetition Pattern Books

• Small Book Sets

Some good publishers we recommend for such books for kids between 2 to 3 years of age are

Eric Carle Books,

Eric Hill Books,

Don Freeman,

Usborne, Ladybird – Level 0 and 1,

DK, Nester, and My House Teacher.

Expert Tip: While reading a book to your toddler, try and ask them what they think will happen next. Pause at the end of a sentence and then encourage them to start the following sentence in the book. Also, try and discuss the book beforehand, share ideas on what might happen in the story. After you have read the story together, discuss what happened.

Book Recommendations for Children Aged 4 and Above

Your child may well begin to read simple books by themselves at this age. They will probably choose their favorites and enjoy them while trying to read them with you. However, do continue to read to your child, too, as this will encourage them and continue making your bond with your child strong. Also, how you use different voices and intonation will benefit them. Books with short stories are the best at this age.

Some great books we recommend for 4-plus-year-old kids are

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss,

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak,

Little World Series by Allison Black, and Four is a Little;

Four is a Lot by Cheska Komissar.

Expert Tip: Take a paper and pen and ask your child to create their own story. Who are the characters? What happens? You can then write down their story and tell them to read it out to you or act it out.

Conclusion

Reading is a fulfilling, powerful, and rewarding activity. Books offer comfort and friendship and act as a teacher and can educate children all about themselves, the world, and the cultures within the world. Reading with children has various benefits and is something all teachers and parents should encourage.

Content Credit: The article has been written with inputs from Shradha Mohunta a soft skills trainer & an ex- ICICI Bank Regional Quality Manager is the mother of a 5-year-old Book Reviewer Ahana who is popularly recognized as @ahanastoryteller on Instagram. Shardha with her daily efforts has been able to raise an avid reader in Ahana . Ahana not only likes reading books but has reviewed over 120 books and is one of the youngest book reviewers you would find on Instagram.

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