t has long been established that reading aloud to your child is hugely beneficial. Even before birth, babies learn to know the sound of their mother's voice, and once born, they seek their mother's face and voice. As they get older, very young children learn to form sounds by listening to their parents' voices. The use of picture books then helps them to identify letters and words.
But even more importantly, reading to your child comes with emotional benefits – a child who sits in the arms of their parent sharing a book feels safe and relaxed. A bedtime story can be calming, fun, and of course, inspiring – providing stimulation for an imagination which will stand them in good stead in their future learning.
Schools and parents have long encouraged children to read aloud from books, sounding out words as they learn to read. There are the obvious benefits of this – teachers can hear whether the child is learning to pronounce the word properly or not - and correct them if need be.
But the benefits don't stop there. When a child reads aloud they gain a sense of achievement. The colour-coded reading systems in educational publishing mean that as a child moves from the red books to the green books for example, they feel proud to have moved up a level.
Even more importantly, reading aloud improves a child's self-confidence when it comes to using their own voice. Whether that is answering a question in class at school, or doing a presentation at work, being able to speak clearly and confidently is a valuable life skill.
Unfortunately, many children struggle with the early phase of learning to read aloud – they get bored, frustrated, lack concentration, or may even have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Our founder's own son struggled to read and, as a result, Yap Books was born. The interactive, reward-based reading system delights children, and instead of being a chore, reading becomes a game. Used instead of, or alongside, traditional books, Yap Books provides all the building blocks necessary to help a child become a confident reader.
Today's technology-dominated environment means that we are increasingly not communicating in the ways we once did. Teenagers text each other whilst sitting side by side in silence. Trolls on social media can hide behind their silent vitriol.
Even making a phone call without first sending a text to check it is a convenient time seems socially unacceptable.
Yap Books is fighting back against this. Reading aloud maintains the importance of verbal communication and taking responsibility for what you say. By focussing on this from a young age, we can create confident, socially responsible children and restore some balance to our increasingly silent world of communication.