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Benefits Of Reading To Our Grandkids

5 April, 2017

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Summer, though a season hot by nature, is a panacea for the nerves. Children plan pleasure trips with parents and are free from their regular routine and get time to enjoy with their grandparents. We can play games like chess, carom, Ludo and enjoy watching our grandkids playing outdoor games.

One of the activities that count as quality time is book reading.  In olden days, where a joint family was the predominant culture, grandparents used to tell stories to their grandchildren. Stories from epics and folklore would come alive in vivid colours.

When we were kids we listened to many good stories about the mighty Hanuman swallowing the Sun God or of Hanuman’s mission of bringing Sanjeevini to save Lakshmana’s life, Lord Krishna’s pranks on his friends, etc. Stories of Panchatantra, walking down the path of childhood, bring a rejuvenating smile and those moments are still fresh in our minds.

Reading to grandkids benefits not only the young generation but also the older adults.

  1. Children are natural mimics, involving ourselves and mimicking the sounds of the characters in the story keeps the kids hooked to the story. It also develops communication skills,  a very sought after criterion in all walks of life.
  2. While reading, we can ask them to guess the next event in the story line or why the character in the story did that. This provokes the kids to think on their own which helps in developing logic in young brains.
  3. Imagination and creativity are the natural attributes of young brains and through storytelling, we can nurture these skills. Creativity keeps the mind young and active.
  4. Reading strengthens the bond between the young and the old generation.
  5. Science has proved that children with a strong emotional bond with the grandparents are less prone to stress and depression in their later years.
  6. By narrating different kinds of stories we can pass on the cultural and value systems to the young generation.
  7. Reading to the grandkids can open up avenues for new activities like going to the library, book fairs and conducting community reading activities.
  8. If the grandchild is old enough, encourage them to read aloud. Loud reading exposes them to proper grammar and pronunciation, thus helping in language building.
  9. Reading stories in different languages gives an opportunity to the younger ones to learn many languages and expressions.

Reading to grandkids is not only restricted to bed time, it can be during a picnic or during a long ride too. So get creative!

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