Your child’s growth and development are important to you. It's a parent’s instinct to boost their child, whether you’re adding an extra few carrots to their plate or enjoying a walk in the sunshine together. We all want our children to grow into ace human beings. And that’s why you’re here now, reading this, to see how books play a part – in (at least) 21 ways, we say. But it’s not just words: here, we’ll show you how good books – like ours – can boost your child’s day, as well as their future.
Whether they’re laughing at a dinosaur joke, enjoying a unicorn adventure, or excitedly recalling a curious fact they’ve read, these small acts and often shared experiences release feel-good hormones. Especially because whatever part of the experience they’re sharing with you, a child has your full attention, conveying the message that they matter the most at that very moment.
2. Reading Skills
The key to boosting reading skills is practice and variety. The best way to encourage a child to practise is find content that's interesting to them, be it a dinosaur fact book, a comic, or a princess adventure story. They will want to read for pleasure if the reading material captures them (they're only human after all). And variety, both fact and fiction, exposes them to different vocabulary for an extra boost.
The more a child practises reading super books, the better their reading skills and knowledge become. This leads to greater confidence – for example, your child will then be able to express their thoughts and feelings more clearly and confidently at school and at home. Also, by slowly removing the barrier of reading, so it becomes second nature, schoolwork will become less challenging and your child will be more confident in their ability and knowledge in lessons.
If you feed a child’s imagination with amazing stories about woodland creatures one day, then a fun fact book about tractors the next, and maybe flick through a great book about explorers after that… your child’s brain becomes loaded with imagery, scenarios and vocabulary, ready for an outpouring of imaginative joy any time they choose.
If a child hears good-quality stories and factual writing, this vocabulary will become part of their language. They will parrot good language patterns and text structure without even realising.
Reading and writing come hand in hand, because a child’s ‘writing’ would just be scribbles unless they understood the formation of letters, words and sentence structure. Therefore, if your child has enjoyed a lovely book about a penguin who dives for fish and teaches others, they are then more able to use those ideas and vocabulary in their own writing, even if they don’t immediately get the spellings spot on (which is fine, don’t worry).
7. Use of Language
A top-notch children’s book will use age-appropriate, descriptive language, with varying grammatical structures and devices. Just as your child learnt to talk in the first place by hearing day-to-day speech, they will also soak up the not-so-everyday language of a book, and importantly, how it should be used.
8. Problem Solving
Children’s books are a wonderful medium to demonstrate problems, scenarios and resolutions in a super safe environment. It may seem that it’s just a story about a frog being brave, but the positive language and illustration convey a strong message – and gives you an opportunity for discussion.
9. Understanding of the World
As we’re unable to travel the world to experience every culture or habitat, or go back to live in times gone by, we can use fantastic children’s books to open up these worlds. The most important ideas are conveyed through jaw-dropping facts, interesting illustrations and it’s-like-you’re-there activities, to preserve and pass on cultures, places and ideas outside of a child’s own environment.
10. Self Expression
When a child enjoys a variety of great books, both read independently or read aloud, their knowledge and vocabulary become greater, meaning they are able to articulate themselves with more confidence – simply because they have the tools to do so.
Quality children’s books tend to use a rich tapestry of language that isn’t used in everyday speech. And when a child sees and hears these words often enough, and understands the principles of phonics, they will soon get to grips with how these words are formed.
There is no better way, after a busy day, to regroup and reconnect with each other, than to sit together and read lovely, interesting books that pique their interest (so they want to be there) . And it helps if you aren’t bored to death by the content, too!
13. Calm & Relaxation
On the whole, reading is a sitting-down activity, even if there’s lots of fidgeting! And the focus needed to listen or read forces away distractions, encouraging a child’s mind to be calmer and their body more relaxed.
14. Critical Thinking
Good books introduce different ideas and perspectives, which give a child a greater understanding of the world and its people, and thus they naturally are able to think more deeply about the interactions in their own life.
By reading a variety of super books, children are exposed to different ways of looking at things that they may not be presented with in their everyday life. Children often read about the lives and feelings of others, and can then see real-life situations from a more balanced point of view.
When children frequently read or are read to, they tend to perform well and progress across all areas of education, because the initial reading required to learn is no longer a barrier. All of their energy can go into understanding the subject itself, along with remembering and recalling the information, rather than the act of reading.
The first level of comfort comes from the shared experience with a grown-up or older child, providing physical closeness. Secondly, reading itself is a familar activity where they know what is expected of them, especially if it’s a book they’ve read before. This makes reading safe, comforting and non-stressful.
Books can be wonderfully reassuring, giving children the opportunity to come across ideas that make them realise that they are not the only one – for example, they are not alone in having a blended family, in living with disability, or in liking playing football. Children are able to see someone just like them, and that is hugely encouraging for them to feel supported and confident to be themselves.
19. Better Sleep
The repeated routine of reading before sleep, be it at night-time or before a nap, sets up a child’s brain to know that sleep is coming. The act of reading or being read to – especially with the comforting presence of a grown-up – is rhythmic, calming and relaxing, ideal for a pre-sleep activity.
One of the first steps to independence is being able to read a book by yourself, no matter how short. Once they get going, a child’s reading skills often sky-rocket and this opens up their world to… everything. Now they can read street signs and notices, menus and food labels, and books and magazines they choose. They have gained something all-important – choice.
21. Attention Span
Being able to sit still and listen to a book being read, or to sit and read yourself, requires self-control and concentration. The more a child practises this, the better their attention span and focus will become, both at home and at school.
Many of the descriptions for our books will now detail specifically the super boosts given to your child. We have always crafted our books this way, giving extra at any opportunity. But we've realised that perhaps we haven't been letting you, the boost-collaborator, in on our boost-fuelled ideas. It's time to change that, to reassure you that super books, like ours, will boost your child and you are doing a great job by reading with them as often as you can, as part of a healthy balance of activities, from crafting and screen-time to reading and jumping around.