Parents with young ones can expose them to local literature early with the Singapore Book Council’s (SBC) Ready For KidLit!.
The online event, which will be hosted on SBC’s Facebook page and on YouTube tomorrow, aims to introduce Singapore literature to children aged three to 12.
Young participants can draw along with local authors such as Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen of the Little Dim Sum Warriors pictorial book series.
They can also learn how to create simple limericks with poet Deborah Emmanuel, or dance in a music and movement segment inspired by the book Benji, Yumi, Origami! by Emily Lim-Leh and Kazumi Wilds.
This is the first time the event is being held, and SBC said it is part of its efforts to develop multicultural literature and promote Singapore literature to a new generation of readers.
Dr Loh Chin Ee, Associate Professor of the National Institute of Education’s English Language and Literature Academic Group, encourages parents to expose their children to books and read to them as young as possible, as children learn through exposure and imitation.
Most children begin to recognise words from the ages of five to eight, she added.
Tearing kids away from digital devices may be challenging but once a child develops an interest for reading, he will continue to read on a digital platform, said Dr Loh.
Mrs Lim Soo Sang, 44, said encouraging her two sons, eight and 12, to read is hard as they are more interested in watching television programmes.
To get her boys to read, she would use a reward system where they “can watch some TV after reading a book”.
Madam Tan Hwee Teng, 32, said that although she uses an interactive story projector and app, her five-year-old daughter prefers physical storybooks as she is more familiar with them.
Dr Loh noted that for toddlers, reading to them using physical books is preferred to digital devices.
“Kids learn through being socialised into reading. So print books are important because they encourage parents and children to read together,” she said.
“Events like Ready For KidLit! provide a platform for parents and children to engage with and understand books in different ways. So we should have more of these kinds of events.”
Mr William Phuan, SBC’s executive director, said: “We hope that our online programmes like Ready For KidLit! will be able to keep the work of our literary community accessible to children and young readers.”
Ready For KidLit! runs from 10am to 4.15pm. Parents can register for the free event on SBC’s website and Eventbrite.