Blogs

  • Jul
    05
    2023

Nurturing word wizards: Why reading is a childhood superpower...

Nurturing word wizards: Why reading is a childhood superpower...

Our team love books. Children’s books specifically. Bursting with colourful illustrations, fun words, tales of inspiration and that unique, exhilarating smell of opening a new paperback. Childminder App’s founders Judy and Sheju love children’s books so much that they publish them. You can learn more about that over at Parakeet Books. But today we’re here to serve up some intriguing (and sometimes surprising) facts about the fantastic world of children’s reading. Pour yourself a cuppa, snuggle into your comfiest chair, and let’s delve into this fascinating adventure.

Now, you might be thinking that your little charge, busy chewing on their second crayon of the day, isn’t quite ready for War and Peace. And while that might be true, you’d be surprised at just how much those tiny grey cells are buzzing with activity!

By the time a child reaches the ripe old age of 2, their brain is as busy as a bumblebee in a field of wildflowers—or, to use a slightly less poetic comparison, as active as an adult’s brain. Take that in for a second. That’s right, folks, even while our little angels are discovering the peculiar taste of non-toxic crayons, they’re mentally sprinting like Usain Bolt!

Fast forward to age 3, and their brain’s activity levels are putting ours to shame. They are more than twice as active as an adult’s brain. Makes you wonder what they’re really thinking when they’re giving you that innocent, “Who, me?” look after finger-painting the freshly-painted living room wall, doesn’t it?

And here’s another corker: knowing nursery rhymes at the tender age of 4 can give children a real head start with reading and spelling by the time they’re blowing out their 8th birthday candles. That’s right—Humpty Dumpty isn’t just great for a giggle, he’s a secret literacy booster!

Of course, we can’t forget the classic adage: books are a child’s best friend. Well, that might not be the exact saying, but it holds water. The number of books at home can significantly influence higher reading scores. It’s a simple equation, really: More books = more bedtime stories = brainier bairns.

And if you’re still not convinced, consider this: children who are read to at least three times a week are nearly twice as likely to score in the top quartile in reading. Yep, you heard it right, folks. Reading ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ for the umpteenth time is not only a wonderful exercise in testing your patience, but it’s also an incredible boost for your little one’s literacy skills.

However, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that not every child has this reading rocket boost early on. A staggering nine million adults in the UK are functionally illiterate, and one in four British five-year-olds struggles with basic vocabulary.

But don’t despair, wonderful childminders, because you hold the key to transforming these statistics. Remember the power of the storybook, the nursery rhyme, and the simple joy of a shared reading experience. The foundations we help to build during these early years can set the course for a child’s future. So, let’s continue to unlock the magic of reading and set them off on a lifelong adventure, where they’ll discover, explore, and create worlds beyond our imagination.

Happy reading, everyone!