Reading has always been a fun way to lose yourself into the world of fantasies and imagination. And its’ highly convenient as well – all you need to do is to just pull out a book from the shelf and read anytime, anywhere. Inculcating the habit of reading in your child can work wonders on their overall development. The evident benefits can reach up to meliorating their motor and cognitive skills as well.
Benefits Of Reading
Dr. Ritu Shroff, a leading paediatrician and neonatologist of Lucknow, explains the benefits of reading for children, “Early-age reading exercises the brain, develops the neurons and enhances the neuro-motor skills of the child. If your child reads daily, they will have a better understanding of concepts, a stronger imagination and enhanced cognitive memory even during the later stages of life.”
Statistics reveal the only three in every 10 children (between 6-17 years of age) or 32 per cent read around 24 non-syllabus books in a year. However, on a brighter side, 92 per cent of Indian children read for pleasure. But most of this is contributed by children of the higher socio-economic status. The remaining sections of the society are oblivious to the advantages of reading. “Instead of handing over smartphones, we should buy them (children) a book. Reading improves the reaction time, enhances the memory and retaining power, and leads to an overall strong mind in children”, adds Dr.Shroff.
Books vs Smartphone
Those who cannot afford buying a new book for their children, there are plenty of options. Public libraries offer children books free of cost (for borrowing), second-hand books shops sell the same expensive books at cheap rates and NGOs hand out new books to those in need. “COVID-19 lockdown has shown an increase in the exposure of children towards phones and decreased book reading habits. Nearly 90 per cent of children have started using phones over books. This damages their memory and brain power”, explains Manisha Dwivedi, child psychologist, who runs an eponymous clinic in Kolkata. “I wouldn’t suggest even a Kindle e-reader as the screen radiation can be damaging for the eyes and brain. One hour of Kindle reading is more harmful than one hour of book reading, which has no harm at all”.
Here are some children’s books which be on your shelves in 2021: R. K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol .
Or you can choose a book from Parag Honour List 2021 like My Daddy and the Well by Jerry Pinto, Candid Tales: India on a Motorcycle by Adithi Rao, Chaar Cheetiyan by Shyam Sushil, Kya Tum Meri Dadi Ho by Sonika Deshpande and Mitti by Madhu Dhruve.
In addition, you can always let your child read whatever they want or choose to, as long as it is not harming his thinking and imagination. A minimum of one hour of reading time should be scooped into your child’s schedule.