How Picture Books Provide The Building Blocks For Children’s Learning
Reading to your children is one of the most valuable things you can do as a parent. More than being just a nice way to spend some quiet, calm time together without the distractions of screens, sharing picture books with young children plays a fundamental role in their development.
Even before children can understand the meaning of words, they enjoy being read to. Young children get a sense of the story from the sounds, tone of voice, pace, and rhythm of spoken words.
Picture books are often a child’s first introduction to language and storytelling, helping them to make sense of the world around them. Reading to kids is important because it provides the building blocks for learning by:
Reading aloud helps young children to practise the sounds of individual letters, words, and simple sentences, giving them the opportunity to grow in their confidence and try out their speech skills.
The visual elements of picture books play an important role in aiding and deepening children’s understanding of words and the stories. Illustrations work in harmony with the words by providing context and giving children objects or situations to relate unfamiliar words to, helping them to improve their comprehension and recognition of both the physical objects and the words used to name them.
Pictures present opportunities for children to engage and discuss what they see, developing their natural curiosity, and encouraging them to explore and discover more for themselves.
Illustrations aren’t just valuable for reading skills - they keep young children engaged, exciting their imaginations and making books fun, to nurture a love of reading and keep kids coming back for more.
Another common element of picture books is having poetic features which pique young readers’ interests, making the stories enjoyable to read and listen to. Rhythm and flow, rhyming, onomatopoeia, alliteration, simple similes and metaphors are often used in picture books.
These poetic techniques help fire up children’s imaginations, whilst making the stories engaging for young children. In the case of rhyming stories, children can often quickly memorise the rhymes and take much pleasure from reciting the rhyming words along with their parents, and being able to anticipate what comes next in the story, making it an immersive experience.
Ultimately, there are huge benefits to reading to children from a young age - even newborns will be picking up the sounds and rhythms of speech, and be soothed by the voice of a caregiver. Picture books are not only fundamental to children’s lifelong learning and development, but help to inspire and expand kids’ imaginations, build their confidence, develop empathy and improve their wellbeing by feeling secure, comforted, and connected.
Green Bean Collection includes beautifully illustrated picture books which are perfect for introducing young children to books and reading. Green Bean’s Shapes has been specifically designed to stimulate a baby's vision using bold black, white and red colours, whilst helping them to recognise different shapes and their names. Green Bean’s Numbers teaches number recognition through observational learning and each number has isolated objects for children to count. For slightly older children, stories such as Green Bean at the Park include fun illustrations which work alongside the exciting storyline to engage young readers whilst reinforcing their learning. You can find out more and view more of our books here:
Look out for Melissa's latest articles on Anita Frost's author website, where she'll talk about topics including business and publishing, author news and events, and giving back to communities. You can find her in-depth monthly feature on the News & Media page of the Green Bean Collection website, discussing children's books and reading, early years education, living a greener lifestyle and all things Green Bean!
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Melissa Brannlund is the features writer and editor, for author Anita Frost.
Look out for Melissa's latest articles on Anita Frost's author website, where she'll talk about topics including business and publishing, author news and events, and giving back to communities.
You can find her in-depth monthly feature on the News & Media page of the Green Bean Collection website, discussing children's books, reading, and all things Green Bean! For more information or any queries, please contact Melissa by emailing email@example.com.