“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
When you pick up a picture book, there is something very magical that happens as soon as you open its pages. That is why early child educators use top quality picture books on a regular schedule in their classes. Part of this wonderful magic is the extraordinary literary power they hold.
Children learn by doing. As a result, the upbeat and enthusiastic adult who reads to children passes their enthusiasm on to them and they learn to love literacy. This learning process is part of the child’s cognitive development. And with respect to cognitive development, a very prominent research figure in this field comes from the work of psychologist Jean Piaget. Based on the research of Dr. Piaget, he concluded that children are actually as intelligent as adults. The only difference is in the way children think. In fact, Albert Einstein said Piaget’s discovery was “so simple only a genius could have thought of it.”
Piaget concluded from his research that children are simply “little scientists,” trying to make sense of the world and interactions rather than just passively learning information.
So have fun with these “little scientists” and let their daily reading experience be a very pleasant one! Reading to children lets them become engaged and aids in their mental development. Engagement is a fundamental tool in the child’s learning process. This in turn lets them build skills, increase achievement outcomes, and become successful at problem solving (Mosenthal 1999).
Furthermore, reading picture books involves the child’s motor skills which include: holding the book, feeling its physical weight, viewing its beautiful illustrations, recalling a favorite illustration, and turning its pages. Wolfe and Brandt (1998) explained that as a result of experience, the brain changes physiologically. As a child experiences something new, either new dendrites are formed or this event lets the child associate it with a similar event in the past.
Both visual and language skills are utilized when a child interacts with picture books. These include: creating meanings in the illustrations, matching the action in the text to an associated illustration and the speaking of words in the text.
So it is extremely important to expose children to picture books on a regular basis. Start the positive reinforcement of their literary experience as early as possible! Clearly, the more reading children are exposed to the more these new experiences for them begin to build on a solid foundation of success.
Reading to Preschool Children – One of the Most Important Steps Parents Can Do (July 1, 2014) www.kobeemanatee.com/reading-to-preschool-children-one-of-the-most-important-steps-parents-can-do/
Children Discover Joy of Reading from Book Loving Parents (June 21, 2014) www.kobeemanatee.com/children-discover-love-of-reading-from-book-loving-parents/
Children’s Picture Books Inspire Everyone (June 10, 2014) www.kobeemanatee.com/children-discover-love-of-reading-from-book-loving-parents/
Benefits of Reading to Children (Part 1) – 6 Strengthening Attributes (June 1, 2014) www.kobeemanatee.com/benefits-of-reading-to-children-part-1-6-strengthening-attributes/
~ Robert Scott Thayer