Play With Your Kids (PWYK) this week welcomed Prue and her daughter Mia for a storytelling session. This experience underscored the profound importance of reading in the lives of children, parents and caregivers.

Reading plays a vital role in children's development, particularly at a young age. It lays the foundation for language skills, helping them to expand their vocabulary and improve their communication abilities. When children read, they're not just flipping through pages; they're actively learning and growing.

According to the Raising Children Network:

  • Reading and storytelling with babies and children promotes brain development, imagination, language and learning.
  • Reading and storytelling strengthens relationships.
  • Sometimes you can read. And sometimes you can look at picture books, sing songs or tell stories from your culture.
  • Babies and young children often enjoy books, songs and stories with good rhyme, rhythm and repetition.
  • Anytime is a good time for a book or story! Try to share at least one book or story each day.

Reading and storytelling can:

  • Help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills
  • Introduce your child to the value of books and stories
  • Spark your child’s imagination and curiosity
  • Promote your child’s brain development and ability to focus and concentrate
  • Help your child build social, communication and emotional skills
  • Help your child learn about the world, their own culture and other cultures.

So, let's continue to prioritise reading in our children's lives. Whether it's bedtime stories or quiet moments with a book, let's cherish these opportunities to connect with our children and instill in them a lifelong love of reading. After all, the benefits of reading extend far beyond the pages of a book—they shape our children's minds and hearts in profound ways.

If you are looking for ways to help your little ones grow and learn, come along to Play With Your Kids! There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, including mobile playgroups.