The Frankfurt Book Fair is in the starting blocks: The global industry get-together will open its doors again from October 20 to 24. There are also 375 exhibitors for children’s and young people’s literature. Books for children are also important in the digital age. And that well before school age: From around the age of two, the little ones begin to understand what books are and begin to develop an initial understanding of reading and words.
Parents should encourage this through play, as Alinda Wit, Europe boss of Lovevery, a manufacturer of contemporary educational toys and mother of two, knows: “Children start early to develop a natural motivation to read. There are many ways to bring the joy of books closer to the little ones and at the same time promote cognitive development. That is why almost all of our toy sets for toddlers from 0 to three years of age contain books ”.
It is not so important which book the youngsters look at or read to them: “Let your child choose the book for themselves. Even if you do not like it or if it is not at all suitable for your child – as long as it is a book, it counts ”, says the Dutchwoman.
In her seven tips, Alinda, mother of a three and a six year old daughter, introduces what is still important in the first (pre) reading activities and what options there are to bring children closer to the joy of books and words .
These are Alinda’s tips for sharing
Reading with young children
- 1. Reading doesn’t just have to take place in the evening before bed. I try to have beautiful books close at hand everywhere – for example in the car, at the dining table or in the kitchen. So I can read to my children at any time when they feel like it. Also in the morning after waking up or having a nap is a good time, as they are even calmer and more receptive.
- 2. So that my little ones can get their books on their own, I always put them down on the shelf.
- 3. Don’t be afraid of repetition. Even if it sounds tiring: Scientists have found that reading the same book over again in children increases the recognition of patterns, joy and self-confidence.
- 4th Words, letters and numbers surround us all the time: on advertising posters, street signs or packaging. I think it’s important to make my daughters aware of this and to read something to them when the opportunity arises.
- 5. Sometimes it happens that children become restless reading aloud and are not fully attentive. But that doesn’t matter. I then give them a little toy or let them do other things on the side and still read on. Studies have shown that reading aloud is also beneficial for development when the youngsters only hear the story incidentally.
- 6th Even if your child can read by themselves, don’t stop reading. I continue to read aloud to my six-year-old daughter Iza every evening. Last we finished reading Pippi Longstocking.
- 7th I try to be a good role model and put my smartphone down as often as possible and instead pick up a book myself – especially when my daughters are around. I often tell you what I’m reading and why I like the book.
About Alinda Wit
Alinda Wit, Head of Europe at Lovevery, heads the educational toy manufacturer’s activities in Europe. Before that, she worked as a consultant at McKinsey and as Director Global Strategy at Danone’s division for early childhood nutrition (e.g. Milupa, Aptamil).
Working for Danone, she knew how important the first 1000 days are for the healthy development of the child. Convinced that a baby’s brain development can be positively influenced not only through diet but also through play, Alinda came across Lovevery during her parental leave with her second daughter while researching educational toys, which at the time was only available in the USA. Enthusiastic about the concept and the products of Loveverys, she got in touch with the founders Jessica Rolph and Roderick Morris and suggested to lead the launch on the European market.
Alinda Wit holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Rotterdam. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband Sander and their two daughters Iza, 6 years old, and Ella, 3 years old.
Reading fun from Lovevery
Lovevery, a manufacturer of high-quality educational toys, also started its toy sets in Germany this year. These are available for the first three years of life – always tailored precisely to the respective stage of development. They were all designed together with experts in early childhood development based on the latest scientific findings. Twelve of the 14 different sets also contain little books. The special thing about them:
They contain real pictures instead of illustrations and tell everyday stories such as “I’m visiting a friend” that the children can relate to. “As a result, the little ones learn to identify with the characters and understand their own emotions,” explains Alinda Wit. This underscores the importance Lovevery attaches to this medium.
The award-winning toy sets are designed as subscription models so that the right toy always comes into the house at the appropriate age. They can be canceled at any time without notice, so that only a single one can be ordered for the table of gifts, without any further obligation. The subscription starts with 84 euros for a toy set and there are different discount options. The toy sets are only available in the Lovevery shop.
In addition to the toy sets, there are also individual products from Lovevery: The perfect companion for the first year of life, the play arch “The Play Gym”, 155 euros, and for older people the new classic, the building blocks set “The Block Set”, 90 euros.
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