For hundreds of years, parents have known that there are great benefits to reading to their children.
And of course, they were right.
From the beginning, sharing a book together is a wonderful bonding experience for both parent and baby, or other significant people in baby’s life. It gives parents some quiet time, and teaches babies to concentrate. Being read to helps baby to develop cognitively, socially and emotionally by stimulating neurons in the brain – also known as mental muscle growth.
Depending on the stories that you read to your child, they will learn about feelings and empathy. They will learn that even though we all come from different backgrounds, we all feel the same types of emotions.
The Wyndham Libraries have programs designed to add a social aspect to reading time with your baby. These are in the shape of 30-minute sessions that can include songs, rhymes and finger plays. Werribee, The Plaza and Wyndham Vale hold these sessions one day per week, while Point Cook Library in the Town Centre hold theirs three times per week. These special programs only run during the school term but sound like a great opportunity to get together with other parents of children around the same age and development stage.
Studies show that babies are able to distinguish the squiggles on a page that make letters, numbers and lines, as early as three months of age. Studies also show that reading to babies regularly may help children learn to read faster and learn new words easily later on. This in turn helps to build the child’s vocabulary. So, what’s there to lose?
Books teach children the idea of pretending. Imagining a world that may differ to the one that we live in. This idea is the foundation for dreaming. What could be? Adventure, courage, inventing and creating all stem from this one idea. Libraries give children the opportunity to understand what types of books they enjoy, and you don’t have to fork out money just for your child to decide they don’t really much care for it.
If you choose books that they enjoy, children learn that books can be a fun and exciting way to cure boredom and alleviate stress. Letting children pick their own books helps hold their interest as they discover that books can be a fascinating tool to learning about pretty much anything.
Special events for children are also held at the Wyndham Libraries, particularly over the school holidays. These are free and a great way to entertain the kids, which I’ve heard can become quite costly. The children’s programs available are a Writer’s Creation Group for ages 5+, and even a Junior Chess Club.
The library offers children help with their school assignments, tutoring, and educational computer games.
It would seem the library is keeping up with the times for the older kids, aged 13-19 years, with an online page. This has resources available from the library, access to events in the library, and even news on other events being held in the community for their age group.
I became a member of the Wyndham Libraries after moving to the area a few years ago. I found that they have lots of services available for me too, a young woman in her twenties. I was surprised because I remember the library of my youth being a place with rows and rows of books, and maybe a few computers for those who didn’t have easy access to the internet. Why would I need to go to the library when a) I have found it difficult to find books that can hold my attention, besides the Harry Potter series, and b) I have a computer with the internet at home?
Well it turned out I needed to do some research for an assignment for my course. It was one of those things where I seemed to be having trouble finding the information that I wanted online. It’s so confusing sometimes. So I decided it was worth a look. Where do you think I found out about some of the benefits in reading to children?
The delightful thing about the Wyndham Libraries is that they are well designed, well lit and with touches of colour that don’t make you feel like you are about to fall asleep at any second. I have enjoyed my recent visits to the library and even found myself sitting down reading a book, in the library! It was astonishing, and quite relaxing too, I must say.