Reading to young children has extensive lifelong benefits. Children who are exposed to reading from very young ages are more likely to be good readers as they grow older, and that is just one of the many positive results that come from exposing children to literacy. Using books to teach young children certain skills can be more helpful than simply introducing a task to them and expecting them to do it.
Children can be stubborn and complicated. Attempting to get young children to perform certain tasks, such as using the restroom, getting dressed or brushing their teeth, can be a struggle. There are countless illustrated books that teach everyday tasks. These picture books can be very helpful in both developing early literacy and encouraging the child to perform tasks and develop skills.
Why do picture books work?
Picture books help children understand because it gives them a visual to help them. If you are trying to get your child to sit on a potty, seeing a child in a book demonstrates the act allows them to see someone similar to themselves doing it. This shows the act being done by a little person or a likable character and provides motivation.
Reading to your child is engaging. The pictures and the context of the book open up a discussion about what is happening. You can use the book to interact with your child about what is going on in the pictures. If you are trying to get them to learn a skill or do a task, you can talk about it while using the pictures as a guide.
Picture books are fun! If a child likes reading, they will want to read more. If they see the task being performed in the book as fun, they will want to do it themselves.
A book puts the ball in the child's court. Children sometimes just don't want to do what their parents tell them to. Little minds are complex. A child may be resistant to doing an activity, such as brushing their teeth, just because mom or dad wants them to do it. Instead of an adult nagging them to brush their teeth, the decision becomes their own when they see it in a book.
When faced with the challenge of teaching and convincing children to perform a new skill, turn to a book! There is bound to be a picture book out there for whatever task you are facing. Not only will you be helping the child perform a new task, but you will also be encouraging a lifelong love of literacy and reading. Get your illustrated books to help children want to brush their teeth today.