Reading is a great habit, and most people who enjoy reading as adults picked up this habit in their childhood. However, today kids spend most of their free time on their tablets and iPads watching videos or playing games so it’s important to find a way to encourage them to read. In this article, we will first go through the disadvantages of tablet use, then compare using tablets with reading, and finally, we will compare board games and picture games and help you decide which is the right book type for your child.
Let us start with some reasons why parents should restrict children’s screen time.
- No Restrictions: Yes, you can install software to spy on them and restrict certain content, but still, there are loopholes everywhere, and every once in a while, something inappropriate might slip into their devices. Sites like YouTube and Netflix have curated content for children, but it is still preferable to allow your kid to watch stuff you deem for them. That is because they’re still young and learn pretty quickly. The majority of their language skills are adopted from their family and the stuff they consume daily.
- Poor Cognitive and Physical Health: Some people might argue that the constant use of tablets and laptops makes their kids smart. However, that is far from reality. Most of the kids these days have a far lower attention span, and the majority of them are highly irritable. You can experiment with a kid you know yourself. The moment you turn off the Wi-Fi, the kid would come crawling out of their comfort zone looking for Wi-Fi signals as if the kid is looking for water. Moreover, it has also made kids physically weak. In the past, kids used to play with their toys or would go outside to play with their friends; nowadays, they can have a Fortnite session with their buddies and call it a day. This results in their bodies becoming fragile and weak. The majority of kids, even adults, are deficient in Vitamin D these days.
- It Raises Them Instead of You: The content they consume and the games they play are all shaping who they’ll become. On the other hand, you’re probably busy in your 9 to 5 job while your kid spends all the time with his/her iPad. This will, in turn, make them even moodier and socially inept—no wonder why social anxiety is high among this generation.
Books vs. Tablets:
Let us compare books and tablets, and why you should consider one of them for your kids. Following is a rough comparison between books and tablets:
- Quality: If you go to the tablet route, then you only need to invest in an iPad or any other good quality tablet. However, if you go with the physical book route, you’ll need to buy many books. Well, the good news is most of them are dirt cheap and offer great reading value for your kid.
- Assurance: If you hand over an iPad to your kid, then you can never expect them to look for anything educational or play the so-called educational games that you installed on their iPad. Instead, they’ll look for other games and watch random YouTubers that they find funny. Yes, you might set up a parental lock, but it won’t help a lot. On the other hand, if you hand them books, you can be assured that they’re reading the material you wanted them to read and not doing something else. If your kid finds the book’s content interesting, you can look for similar books in the same genre. Who knows your kid might be interested in animals or astrology?
- Availability: The iPad and other electronic gadgets rely on batteries. Once the batteries die, the device dies. On the other hand, books don’t require any external batteries at all; however, you might require ample light to make sure there’s less strain on your kid’s eyes.
- Reading Skills: Reading books at a young age will greatly impact their vocabulary, language skills, and critical thinking since they’ll be asking tons of questions regarding anything they read. As a result, it will develop their reading skills and make them crave more reading material.
This is important since the average attention span of a teenager these days is less than 30 seconds, and most of them have never finished reading a book and rarely ever open any book besides their textbooks. If you introduce your kid to books at a relatively younger age, then the chances of them having a normal attention span increase.
Picture Books vs. Board Books:
If you have decided to get books for your young ones, you might want to know the difference between picture books and board books. Following are the differences between the two book types:
- Age Factor: Picture books are intended for kids in the 5-10 age group, and board books are intended for kids in the 0-5-year-old group. The main reason board books are suitable for toddlers is that toddlers bite and chew everything, and board books are made from pretty hard cardboard that doesn’t get damaged easily. On the other hand, you can expect the picture book to be ripped to shreds in a few seconds by a toddler.
- Readability: Picture books have a brief description of the pictures they present. It gives the young readers words to process and further expand their little horizon of knowledge. On the other hand, board books rarely have any sentences and are often just pictures with a caption. You can’t expect a 3-year-old to read it by him/her self; therefore, you’ll need to be present with them to help them absorb the little book.
- Durability: Picture books might come with a gloss or matte finish, which in turn would protect them from pencil and accidental paint splashes. However, they’re very brittle and can be torn pretty easily. On the other hand, board books are made to last. Even as an adult, you can try to pull it apart, but it won’t come loose. Board books are perfectly glued and make use of strong cardboard.
- Transitioning: If your kid has been reading board books as a toddler and now you think it’s the time to transition to picture books, then the process would be relatively simple since their brain is accustomed to absorbing knowledge picture and textual form already.
Reading is a great hobby; it shapes the minds of kids and helps make their personality. Kids who start reading at a young age are quite likely to grow up to become thoughtful adults with a balanced personality.