I really believe a love of books and reading is one of the best gifts parents or carers can give to a child.
Experts agree that in homes where there are books - and preferably lots of books! - children become readers faster themselves. A link has also been found between the home with books and storytelling parents and later success in school and even life in general.
See what The Literacy Trust says.
This makes sense to me. Apart from the fact that they give more exposure to the way thoughts and information is put into words, sharing stories with children is also a way of bonding and fostering emotional health - stories even trigger the release of oxytocin, the feel-good and bonding neuropeptide.
Research tells us that when we listen to a story it affects and alters neuro-chemical processes in our brains. Stories can affect the way we feel about others, ourselves and the world. They can also help children deal with difficult situations or emotions they may be experiencing by depicting characters finding solutions and good outcomes to similar events or feelings. See this fascinating article:
The science of story
So for children pre-literacy skills, communication and social skills, emotional health and development of empathy can all be enhanced by regular listening to and later reading of books.
Books open up the world and, as Mason Cooley would say: "Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are."
Filling your child's life with books needn't be an expensive undertaking. There have never been more places to find, borrow, buy or access books. Snuggling up with your little ones with a much-loved story, turning the familiar pages and enjoying a fun and nurturing tale creates such special and memorable moments.
The children's sections of bookshops large and small are full of brilliant books. Libraries are also fun places and most hold story-time sessions too!
And if your looking for free stories then there are a whole host of online sites where you can access or download them.
Magic Keys is just one of them:
Whether you browse online to buy or read or visit bookshops, remember age guides on books are just that, guides. Children develop at different paces, have different interests and needs so let your child select books with you too. Build your child's home library and discover stories and their magic together!