How often do you read for pleasure these days? Did you read often in younger years? As an adolescent, I used to always have at least one novel on the go, sometimes reading into the wee hours of the morning, completely captivated by the stories being told page after page. For me, the love of books and reading started when I was very small as I listened to stories read by my parents, and I am now getting to watch my own children’s imaginations be captured by classics and new titles alike.
For young kids, books are an excellent way of introducing them to new concepts that are helpful for learning, such as colours, letters and numbers, animals and the sounds they make, other places, space, the ocean, and on and on. The more we speak to and read with our children, the more they develop language skill as well. Stories can provide examples of different kinds of conflict and ways to respond, help with naming emotions, inspire empathy, etc. We can look at pictures of people who don’t always look the same as us, and have important age-appropriate conversations about issues in the world. Books create space for laughter and tears.
Apart from the benefits to your child in terms of learning and development, ultimately stories and story-telling are a way to connect with each other, and social skills are some of the most important tools that any child can build to set them up to succeed in life.
So, wouldn’t it be awesome if we had free access to endless books without having to fill shelf upon shelf in our home? Oh wait - it’s called a library! Check out your local branch of the Edmonton Public Library (check online at www.epl.ca to see the current status of in-person services; but the online/app is always open!). If you don’t already have a library card for your child, be sure to sign them (and yourself) up!
What are some of your favourite titles or authors? Share below! And happy reading!