Archive - April 2015

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Bedtime stories more beneficial than you might have thought!
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The simplest ways to decrease negative impact of technology on kids

Bedtime stories more beneficial than you might have thought!

Family Relaxing Indoors Playing Chess And Reading Book

 

These days bedtime stories are being replaced with bedtime cartoons and it’s easier to find a child with a mobile device than with a book. Many of us forget about the numerous advantages coming from the good old reading to your child. Reading to your child is not only a fun activity and a way of decreasing the time they spend with digital media – it also benefits them in several other ways. Check out why  picking a book tonight and reading to your kid is a worthy thing to do.

 

1. It helps you create a bond with each other

Reading aloud to your child, at least for 20 minutes a day, allows you to spend quality time with your child. What’s more, it is a perfect opportunity to talk with your child and discuss real-life experiences, no matter if the topic concerns serious matter like discrimination or a lighter one like their favorite pastime.

 

2. It gives your child a better start in the future

According to the research by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research from March 2013 children four to five years of age who are read to three to five times a week are six months ahead of their peers in terms of reading skills. Those kids who are read to on everyday basis are approximately a year ahead of those who are read to less frequently. That’s a tremendous advantage achieved through this seemingly unobtrusive activity.

 

3. It expands their vocabulary and improves other language & communication skills

If you read to your child at least 20 minutes every day as a result they are exposed to about 1.8 million words of text every year! Reading to kids also provides them with vocabulary and expressions they are able to use when talking to others. Some books are very descriptive and they use various grammatical structures, therefore it is a perfect opportunity to pick up new words. Moreover, it builds their language skills before they are even able to talk. Another research shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child’s vocabulary at the age of 3.

 

 

Mother reading with her son

4. It supports their reading skills and encourages them to read

Surprisingly reading to your child is linked to differences in brain activity supporting early reading skills. Surprised? Read what John Hutton, the study author said in his statement:

“(…)reading exposure during the critical stage of development prior to kindergarten seems to have a meaningful, measurable impact on how a child’s brain processes stories and may help predict reading success,” ” Of particular importance are brain areas supporting mental imagery, helping the child ‘see the story’ beyond the pictures, affirming the invaluable role of imagination.” 

Reading to your child also motivates them to start reading on their own and to discover themselves the exciting experiences resulting from reading.

 

Sites worth checking out

Equipped with such knowledge you probably want to rush to read to your child. However, before you do that, take a look at bunch of sites promoting early literacy development in children.

 

 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena| Appetite For Education

P.S. If you are interested in more information on applications or you are looking for one for your child, subscribe to our newsletter to read more interesting articles in the future!

The simplest ways to decrease negative impact of technology on kids

group of happy kids watching tv at home

As technology is developing rapidly, it started to sneak into every field of our life. We can find smartphones, laptops and TV sets in almost every household and more and more schools are beginning to introduce technology to their classroomsIts wide presence has raised concerns whether such an exposure limits children’s social skills or is harms their ability to concentrate. Experts are in a costant battle whether the digital media is detrimental for the children’s development or it actually helps kids build their vocabulary/improve decison-making skills etc. Regardless of which side turns out to be right, it is better to stay on the safe side and decrease the screen time as well as make it as valuable as possible.

 

How to avoid or reduce any negative impact of technology on kids?

 

1. Monitor the time they spent with digital media

That should be a top 1 rule as many children use technology without parents’ supervision, some of them spending up to several hours in front of screens. According to the research conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation in 8- to 18-year-olds:

28% said their parents set TV-watching rules

  • 30% said their parents set rules about video game use
  • 36% said their parents set rules about computer use

 

APP recommends no more than 2 hours of screen time. Become a role model in this field – don’t let your children see you on Facebook for a several hours or checking your inbox every 5 minutes.

 

2. Pick quality, educational products

 

This tip is also worth emphasizing. As we are flooded with thousands of kids’ products, it is essential to make a conscious choice. Focus on educational value, however, don’t forget about picking a product that your child will like as well. Check out our post with sites where you can find quality apps for children and more.

 

3. Create screen-free zones in your house

 

Whether it is a kitchen, where family has unplugged meals or a bedroom, try to create a place where using screens isn’t allowed. Remember that this rule applies to you as well – in that way it will be easier to enforce it.

 

4. Choose active time over passive

 

If your child is exposed to technology and screens, make sure that the time spent with such devices is active, not passive. Therefore, choose TV programmes or apps that encourage your child to move, answer questions or respond in any way.

 

5. Don’t allow using two screens at the same time

 

Children like media multitasking. Eating breakfast while watching TV and using a mobile phone? For some kids it’s a piece of cake. However, regardless of how efortless it may seem for them, it can have a toll on their ability to concentrate. Allow your child to focus on one activity with one screen.

 

6. Use digital media as an inspiration for active time

 

Some games, e-books, movies or apps can inspire you and your child for some active family time. An app where your child can create own dishes? – a great idea for creating a meal together. Your child saw a cartoon about animals? Time to go to the zoo or for a walk. This is a great way to create a bond with your children and find out if they learnt anything valuable with the media.

 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena| Appetite For Education

P.S. If you are interested in more information on applications or you are looking for one for your child, subscribe to our newsletter to read more interesting articles in the future!

 

 

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