Raising a child who loves to read will no longer be a struggle
Flying with kids also gets a whole lot easier
Our parents thought we’d grow up, get married, and settle down to become the next Murty power couple. When millennials started becoming parents, they took the best lessons from their own and gave them a facelift to suit modern sensibilities. But there’s one thing we’ve held onto, a habit our parents instilled in us, using love or force, and that is reading. Not that we had much else to do other than running around the lawn, scraping knees, and stealing apples from the neighbouring Delnaaz aunty’s garden. TVs were expensive, and dial-up hadn’t come into our lives yet, so books became our entertainment and respite.
You’re on a mission. Armed with a stack of colourful children’s books, setting up a cosy reading nook and a heart full of hope. You’ve heard the legends of iPad babies having grown up into voracious little bookworms who devour novels faster than you can say, ‘So jao, kal school hai‘ (go to sleep, tomorrow is a school day).
You pray that your little one, like you, is also a child who loves to read. But as you sit down, book in hand, you’re met with rebellion. With the agility of Dipa Karmakar, they leap off the couch and scamper into the nearest room, grabbing the iPad along the way.
You’re not alone in trying to raise a child who loves to read in a digital world surrounded by distractions.
Being constantly glued to screens isn’t doing any good for their young minds (and eyes) in the long run. The fast-paced nature of social media feeds and the constant digital distractions can contribute to shorter attention spans among kids. Sitting down with a book and really getting into it can be a bit of a struggle when children get used to quick bits of information and entertainment.
And, according to experts, there’s no point in forcing it. Reading should be a reward, not something that creates a negative association for kids, stopping them from developing a love for books.
As a parent, it can be overwhelming. Everyone’s been telling you it is important since the day your child was born: “Reading is important for the munchkin’s development. It’s important to start early,” say well-wishers. They’re not wrong, either.
Children can develop language and comprehension skills through reading books. “Just exposure to words is the single most important thing that you can do to help build the language pathways in your child’s brain,” said Laura Phillips, PsyD, senior director of the Learning and Development Center at the Child Mind Institute, New York, USA.
“They will also be more curious and imaginative, thereby helping them develop problem-solving abilities. They may be able to relate to concepts they read in books and observe them in real-world situations, which is helpful to develop pragmatic and social skills, too,” said Dr Rekha Ahuja, assistant director at SAMAGRA – St. Joseph’s Holistic Wellness Centre, Bengaluru.
Spending countless hours coaxing, cajoling, and, let’s be honest, occasionally bribing your little ones with kaju katli to pick up a book isn’t the only way to foster a love for reading. In comes Vobble, an audio OTT platform for kids aged 4-10, to the wild world of parenting and page-turning dilemmas. Co-founded by moms Sowmya Jagannath and Neha Sharma, Vobble is more than just an app with audiobooks. Jagannath and Sharma have created a multisensory literary world for kids to explore with narrated stories, game shows, music and activities.
The Vobble starter pack is a fantastic addition to your kid’s day, especially if they’re not the type to sit down and flip through a book. You’ll get free access to the platform for six months, along with some kid-friendly headphones to protect those sensitive little ears, and some fun activity books to boot.
Listening to the story while colouring in characters from the same narrative in the activity books keeps them engaged in multiple ways, creating an all-encompassing and exciting experience for your little one.
Vobble is a creative way to get your kids to start reading. It’s something they can do by themselves on the go. If you’re in the car and want them to be occupied with something other than mobile games or YouTube videos, pop on the headphones or connect it to your car via Bluetooth and enjoy the story together. This will become your and your kids’ favourite thing while catching a flight (11 moms gave us tips on surviving with your sanity intact).
There’s more than one way to learn. Vobble shows us that there’s also more than one way to enjoy the rich literary world of children’s books, opening doors to limitless adventures and a world of endless stories.