07 Aug Benefits of reading to babies, toddlers and children
I started reading to my little girl when she was one week old (some start when they are still pregnant) I would read her everything from Nursery Rhymes to Roald Dahl and I haven’t stopped, we still read together every day. I’m not stating this to preface that she is gifted and set the scene for a high achiever…I would never put that type of pressure on her, but I will say that she started speaking very early and till this day she loves books and shares my voracious appetite for reading and learning.
There are numerous benefits of reading to and with children, I will outline some below:
1. The more you read to your children the more knowledge they absorb. A large amount of research has been done in this area and suffice to say reading to babies and toddlers gives them a head start and affects brain activity (critical for language development) to give them the boost for early reading.
2. Reading helps language skills and vocabulary. When we talk to our children we often use the same somewhat repetitive language. Reading a wide variety of books will expose your child to new sounds, words and sentence structures that they many not have ordinarily been exposed to
3. When we read to children it often leads to lots of questions, which in turn creates more learning. Reading books on different topics or about important life skills can also be a fun way of teaching children and creating healthy habits.
4. Another great benefit of reading with children is watching their growing imagination. When we really engage in a book we imagine what the characters are doing. We imagine the setting as reality. Seeing the excitement on a child’s eyes when they know what is going to be on the next page, or having them guess what is going to happen is such a great experience
5. As children get older they can relate more and put themselves into the story, this helps them to develop empathy. When children identify with characters, and they start to feel what characters are feeling. Children begin to understand and relate to emotion, this is particularly useful if you are trying to teach life lessons such as sharing, being kind and honesty.
6. There’s nothing better than cuddling up to your little one and reading a book or a bedtime story together. Spending time with one another, reading, and talking, can bring parents closer to children. For parents who work, or have a busy lifestyle, relaxing with your child and simply enjoying each other’s company while reading can be a great way for you both to wind down, relax, and bond