9 Reasons Picture Books are Important for Young Children

By Lara Solomon , Story Antics

Picture books are part of children’s lives and most parents will start reading to their children from age 0. We all know that reading to children is good for their learning and development, but why are picture books so important?

Introduce children to reading
Picture books are usually the first books read to children, mostly because of the pictures! But also because the stories are short and easy to follow. By reading picture books to a child the adult is also showing them that reading is important.

Encourage conversations
The images in the book as well as the words start conversations and can encourage other activities such as counting, or colours. As you chat about the story during or after you can really engage the child in what was happening and improve their communication skills. Interestingly, research has shown that parents who talk to their children more have an advantage in school versa parents who talk less to their children.

Create connections
Being read to by an adult creates a lovely connection between the reader and the child, often it can be a way to “break the ice” if they are meeting a new grownup.

Strengthen visual thinking skills
By connecting the images on the page with the words it helps children understand the words, as well as connecting them with a meaning via the picture.

Introduce Art
The illustrations aren't just decoration to the text. They enhance the story and emotions. The context encourages a child to go back to different pictures over and over, noticing new things, reading characters' emotions and interactions, possible secondary subplots that are told only in the pictures.

Helps children become better listeners
By sitting and listening to a story without talking (unless asked) they develop critical listening skills.

Learn new actions
A child sees the story character building a tower, baking, dancing or even just high fiving and wants to re-enact it to be the same as their favourite character, thus learning a new action/skill.

Introduce complex concepts in a safe environment
By using a story to talk about new or potentially distressing topics, like death, it helps children process and understand the information better. Plus they can ask questions as they relate to the story and therefore themselves.

Build vocabulary
Often picture books contain made up or silly words as well as longer words that a child might not be able to read his/herself. The playing around with language helps children learn and build up their vocabulary.

Start or continue your picture book journey with Story Antics – the best place to create a personalised story that children love www.StoryAntics.com

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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