The main focus of the fair was on books and reading. I’ve noticed that reading to children is not as common in Saudi-Arabia than it is in Finland, but it seems to be growing in popularity. Reading to your kids is always highly beneficial for their language skills and strengthens the bond between the child and parent.
Coming from a culture in which the importance and role of reading to children is extremely important, the fair was a very positive surprise for me. There were so many children’s books available, ranging from toddlers touch and learn type books to older kids’ bedtime stories. The fair had many books in English as well and some English learning centers were represented along with a few embassies such as Sweden and Japan.
My husband bought some books for our 6 month old baby, she is already such a little bookworm! These were her first Arabic language books. I started reading to her when she was a few weeks old in Finnish and now whenever she sees a book she tries to grab it so it is definitely paying off already.
A nice bedtime story will always help the child relax and wind down before falling asleep. The children might even begin looking forward to bedtime! I hope many parents get the inspiration and encouragement of reading to their kids from this fair.
In addition to the book stalls, the Cultural fair had other activities such as a small museum, plays for children in the big theatre, traditional dance shows and an interactive learning center.
The King Fahad cultural center has very modern architecture and pleasant surroundings with fountains and gardens.
I was surprised how all the classic fairy tales that we know from childhood could be found at the fair and had passed the Saudi censors. There was some excellent books on Islam in English language for children available too.
Fun interactive books for toddlers
There were lot of booths to browse various kinds of children’s books. Most were in Arabic language but they did have English books too.
More hand puppets.
Fountains outside the center.
Such a pretty girl and pretty dress!