Whatever your evening routine may be, a bedtime story is one crucial element that should not be missed.
Apart from establishing reading habits, and cultivating imagination, Carol Mitchell, head of the Children’s Section at Qatar National Library (QNL), says that reading with your children during the first three years of their life is actually crucial to a child’s early development.
Until age three, Mitchell says, your child is going through a period of rapid growth, both physically and mentally. “In order to increase a child’s ability to grasp new concepts and give them a significant head start in development, it’s imperative for parents to initiate learning from as early as possible.”
Which is why QNL is on a mission to ensure that varied, quality reading material is readily available for parents in Qatar.
At such an early age, before children are enrolled at pre-school, Mitchell emphasises that it’s the responsibility of parents to start the learning at home.
So, the library has created a wide-ranging database to facilitate this, free for registered members. Parents can easily access the database from home through the QNL website, where you’ll find English and Arabic children’s literature from a number of sources including the
International Children’s Digital Library.
Mitchell says, “The collection of books available through QNL include themes of good citizenship, cultural values, the role of parents in a child’s personal development and Qatar’s cultural identity and diversity.”
She stresses that, as well as being a good way to bond with your child, “reading is the cornerstone of early childhood development [and] setting aside as little as fifteen minutes a day to read to [your] child will greatly impact their future relationship with literature.”
Visit www.qnl.qa. Qatar Foundation, Education City (4454 6039).