Reading: Why it is Unquestionably Important for Children

Reading is one of the most important skills and cognitive processes we need to develop. As we all know, knowing how to read is crucial for learning and overall success later in life. For a child, reading books is one of the best ways to learn language and communication, even in the digital age. So, here’s why reading should be encouraged in children.

Reading helps develop language
Reading is one of the primary ways a child can develop his/her language skills. Of course, they won’t be able to read at a young age, so reading aloud to them is key. This is because as they grow older, the main way they improve their vocabulary is through speaking with those older than them. But, if they start reading at an early age, they are at least already exposed to grammar, sentence structures, and etc. Plus, in Singapore where there is so much diversity, a child can even be bilingual and reading can always help with that.

Reading can improve parent-child relationships
There are already so many movies where you’ll see a parent and a child reading a book together. They put these scenes because they actually happen in real life. Reading can create stronger bonds between parents and children. Reading aloud even during infancy is known to improve intimacy and closeness. By spending quality time reading with the child, parents get to interact with their child and teach them valuable lessons.

Reading sparks imagination
Picture books, for example, are mostly aimed at young children. Children can associate words with the pictures and therefore, improve visual imagery and imagination. As the child grows older, he/she will slowly learn not to rely on the pictures and will start to create visual images in his/her own mind. This will be a great contributor to developing creativity and imagination. Additionally, it also helps that stories can take children to different places and different worlds in their imagination.

Reading enhances communication skills
Aside from parents and children interacting with each other, the child also improves his/her communication skills through the characters in the books. They learn how characters communicate and may copy those character themselves. Additionally, reading at an early age has been found to have a lasting effect on a child’s verbal capabilities. They will have a certain aptitude not only in learning words but in communicating their ideas as well.

Reading encourages empathy
Almost all children’s books mainly teach values and lessons. Being young, children obviously don’t have much experience and understanding of the world around them. What they read in books can help them better understand, appreciate, and empathize with other people. In a culturally rich and diverse nation like Singapore, this is essential to help children develop better relationships in the future and help them become respectful and well-mannered individuals.

Helpful Things to Know When Visiting Singapore

When visiting other countries, it is obviously important to get to know your destination before you’re even there. Singapore is an exciting place to go to, but there are a lot of things you need to know to make your visit as smooth as possible.

Singapore is generally safe
Singapore is considered the safest country in the world. Most of the crimes committed in Singapore are petty crimes like scams and pickpocketing, most commonly. So it does not necessarily mean that you should be care-free when in Singapore. It is safe, but not entirely crime-free.

Consider the weather
Being a tropical country, much of the weather in Singapore is dictated by the monsoon seasons. Basically, there’s dry weather earlier in the year and a wet season near the end. When they say dry weather, it’s not your simple “dry weather”, it’s going to be really hot. That is why flip flops, tank tops, and shorts are the typical go-to’s when walking around.

The transportation is great
You won’t have any problems not having a car in Singapore as a tourist. The subway system is quite reliable and can get you almost anywhere. Major areas and landmarks are connected through the train systems. Taxis, on the other hand, can have pros and cons. For one, you won’t have to worry about being scammed because taxis are regulated and metered. But, it can still get pretty expensive because of airport charges or highway tolls.

You’ll rarely get hungry
Food is a great part of Singapore’s culture given the diversity in the country. Hence, Singaporeans are very passionate when it comes to food. Along with all the tourist spots, it’s a grave mistake to not explore Singapore’s hawker center, food stalls, and restaurants. An added bonus is that many places also stay open day and night.

“Singapore is a Fine City”
Singaporeans and many tourists alike joke around with this statement as it has a double meaning. Singapore has been known to impose fines on so many things. If you think about it, it does make sense because they just want to discourage unpleasant behavior. There are fines for spitting, chewing gum, smoking in certain areas, littering, peeing in the elevators (this makes absolute sense!), and a lot more.

Tap water is safe to drink
The quality and standard of water in Singapore is very high. The tap water is clean and even safe to drink. Although that’s the case many Singaporeans still shun the idea of drinking tap water from hawker center or old coffee shops. Given that, you should still avoid being overly reliant.

Escalator etiquette
If in your country you follow a stand on the right, walk on the left rule, it’s the opposite in Singapore. You stand on the left. If you’re new to this concept, you’re basically just standing on one side of the escalator to allow those in a hurry to walk on the other side.

5 Helpful Airport Tips for Seniors

Travel is one of the best gifts you can give your mom and dad. Perhaps, the trip is to visit a family member or a long-time family friend you haven’t seen in years. It may also be a cruise, an adventure trip or even to visit an old home. Whether you accompany your parents or they’re travelling on their own, here are seven airport tips to make travelling easier for the seniors.

1. Request for wheels
International airports are vast spaces that challenge the stamina of elderly travelers. Make it easy for your seniors by requesting wheelchairs from your airline. Reserve your wheels and roll your way from the security to your gate.

2. Invest in a chaperone
This is especially helpful for elderly solo travelers. There are times when a senior needs extra help in the airport. Airlines allow family members to secure escort passes for their elderly travelers, similar to a boarding pass. Some airlines issue escort passes to meet incoming passengers at the arrival gates. However, these passes are not allowed to incoming international flights due to immigration and customs regulations.

3. Ask the concierge for assistance
For senior travelers who want to be accompanied from the entrance of the airport to the boarding gate, there are concierge services that can help you with that. These services usually includes checking-in of luggage, providing access to expedited lines and lounge services, collecting of bags upon arrival and even getting a cab to send you to your destination.

4. Take advantage of discounted lounge pass
For a comfortable place while waiting for your flight, airport lounge is a worthy splurge to get. While it can be pricey, seniors get discounted rate to get comfortable seating, a fresh cup of coffee, free food, magazines, newspaper and—probably the most important—access to clean bathrooms.

5. Travel smart
There are lots of things that can possibly go wrong during a trip, so it is important to have the most important things with you for a worry-free flight:

• Get a non-stop flight. The faster you get to the destination, the lesser chances of drama.
• Carry the medications in your hand bag, not in the check-in baggage.
• Keep a list of emergency contact names and numbers.
• Wear comfortable footwear.
• Get a seat with plenty of leg room.
• Bring a bottle of water and some snacks.

Travelling with mom and dad is likely the most fulfilling experience you will ever experience in your life. You have the chance to give back for all their love and hard work. Yes, you may feel like a caregiver, but the travel destination will serve as an escape, not just for you but for your beloved elders as well.

5 Things You Should Know About Autism

Autism can be bewildering, especially to parents with children diagnosed with such condition. Individuals with autism are consistently challenged by the unique characteristics of the disorder, and with the right support system, they will be able to balance these tough characteristics. Having friends and members of the family with the right knowledge about this condition can contribute to a more advantageous future for these unique individuals.

Here are five facts that are worth knowing about a condition that’s too often misunderstood.

1. Children with autism can be affectionate
Those people who do not know anyone with autism may think that children diagnosed with autism are incapable of showing affection. This misconception might have probably stemmed out from the fact that some patients with autism diagnosis do not like to be touched or make eye to eye contact. Like normal people, some are more emotionally inclined, while others are not.

2. They can have successful careers, too
It is another common misconception that many of us believe—that children with autism have naturally slow mental development. However, where a particular skill or ability may be behind, the rest are advanced in individuals with autism. Therefore, it is absolutely possible for them to live successful lives when their best kills are honed and put to maximum use.

3. They are not limited in all abilities
Those with autism may struggle with the control of some skills, like social bonding, impulsivity and communication. However, the struggle to control does not mean that they have limited abilities. Instead, these people require different way of socializing, learning and executing day-to-day activities. Although we may have to approach people with autism in different ways to inspire and empower them, just like any other person, they are capable contributors to the world.

4. Show them how things are done
People, especially children, with this disability are visually inclined. Showing them how things are done instead of just telling them is a big help. You might have to repeat the process many times, but it would be a great relief once you have successfully taught that certain activity to them.

5. The most effective treatment at present are education and therapy, not medical
These treatment methods show the best results when started early. They are intensive in nature and are based on the unique behavior of an individual with autism. Active participation of parents is very critical in the success of the treatment and in nurturing the patient’s social interest.

Autism is a broad spectrum, so children with this condition are like any other diverse group of children growing up as adults with different unique personalities and abilities. Some grow up minimally verbal and may not be able to live independently, while others can live on their own and thrive on their own jobs.

Delicious Fermented Products You Can Make at Home

Fermented foods have recently made a comeback, and more people are now starting to ferment their own food at home. And it’s not just great for your body – it’s also great for your budget if you love the stuff but can’t keep buying it.

In fact, here are some of the different fermented products you can start making at home right now:

This spicy Korean side dish made of vegetables is perhaps the most recognized fermented dish in the world, which is great if you have a knack for spicy foods, but it’s also really easy to make in your own kitchen.

When making kimchi at home, be sure to use sea salt (or salt that isn’t iodized or doesn’t have anti-caking agents), as this can prevent fermentation from taking place.

What do you do when you find yourself with a bunch of cabbages? Why, you make sauerkraut, of course!

Known basically everywhere for its crunch and pleasant sourness, it’s amazing both as a side dish and as a spread in sandwiches for a quick, healthy bite whether it’s for breakfast or a light snack.

With a lot of kombucha flavors commercially available, it’s easy to forget that this is essentially tea that’s mixed with sugar.

And when you’re the one making it yourself, not only will you get this treat for a fraction of what you would usually pay for it, but you can also play around with different teas and fruits until you find the flavor that works for you.

Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is made differently than other types of bread because it uses dough that’s been allowed to ferment with wild yeast and naturally-occurring bacteria that break down the gluten in wheat flour.

Not only is this great to make and keep around if you happen to be sensitive to gluten, but it’s also rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Milk Kefir
While not exactly yogurt – milk kefir, or fermented milk, is a little more watery – it has between twenty and sixty probiotic strains and contains more nutrients than you would find in a cup of regular yogurt.

And because it’s fermented, as much as 99 percent of all the lactose in milk has been broken down by the bacteria, which makes it safe for those who are especially sensitive to dairy products.

These are just some of the many dishes you can start making at home – there are a lot more that you need to try out. Not only are they all delicious and healthy for your whole family, but making them also means you have cheap, nutritious food all year long.

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