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A library or reading area plays a major role in fostering literacy by building a child’s language and literacy skills. Reading areas provide a place for children to engage with individual books, group stories, other children and even adults. It also helps with their ability to understand words and increase their vocabulary as well as use their imagination.
- Reading habits begin in the early years and it is important for children to be introduced to literature at an early age in order to build and support a love of language and reading. It also helps teach children how to handle books including handling them with care and turning pages.
- Alphabet books help children learn the names of the letters and the sounds that each letter represents. Counting books helps with number recognition and counting skills and oversized and picture books help build curiosity and help children point out words, letters and pictures. Younger children benefit from learning through touching and feeling different textures.
- Group activities in a reading area also build social skills. Children learn to take turns and share as well as pay attention in a group. Children should be encouraged to read to each other, share books and take turns.
- Decision making/independence – by giving children the option of wandering around and making their own choices about what to read next, we foster a sense of independence