The library corner or book nook is a staple of children’s learning, offering multiple benefits both socially and educationally for the child. Kingston parent, Jamila, attributed her love of books to her excellent report writing skills as a policy developer. When she researched childcare centres on Space childcare directory, she looked for a centre that emphasised the importance of a childcare library. After seeing the well-designed book corner at Guppy’s Early Learning Centre, Jamilla enrolled her son, Aaqib, and made time every week to read with him in the book corner.
Instilling a love of books helps children develop a number of important skills for their future learning.
The library corner is a non-threatening introduction to group activities for very young children. By reading along with the teacher, children start to learn how to listen, follow directions, concentrate and take turns.
As children begin to read, they learn language that they would not necessarily hear in day to day conversations. With an expanded vocabulary comes the ability to communicate in more nuanced ways and with better accuracy.
Young children learn to read from picture books, matching words with images and learning to follow the sequence of the story from the pictures. When children explore the pictures, their visual spatial skills begin to strengthen. Visual spatial skills are used in finding directions, following sequences including dance and movement and driving, drawing what you see, imagination, film making and architecture. Any assistance children get to develop cognitive skills helps them in their academic lives, which my last a lifetime.
Introduction to maths and literary concepts
Children’s book authors use the platform of imagery and simple words to teach their young readers basic concepts in number, pattern, colours, or animals. Children can enjoy the patterns or words and match words to pictures without realising the valuable learning they are receiving.
Social and emotional intelligence
Children’s picture books often have subject matter that touches on social issues such as cultural differences. Children can absorb simple lessons and discover things about the world and people around them from the messages in a brightly coloured, simply told storybook.
Relaxation and quiet time
A childcare library corner is the best place children have to sit quietly, relax and have a moment to themselves. Aaqib told his Mum that he loved the comfortable cushions and the soft toys that were scattered around the nook. He liked to sit with a picture book and be in his own world. Reading was an activity he could do by himself, or with others according to his mood.
Childcare libraries offer children many advantages. They get exposed to multiple books and stories, learn the basics of reading, sequencing and imagery and can start learning to socialise and communicate with others as they talk about their favourite book. The book nooks are also a great place for children to wind down and have a quiet moment to themselves.