As parents, our To-Do list is long. The list goes on, from getting them to the right places to ensuring they eat and do homework. So, adding something else to the list can seem daunting. This is especially true if the activity is not something we enjoy or value. Sadly, reading is one of those list items not viewed as essential or enjoyable. However, a love -or at least an interest- in reading is one of the most precious gifts we can give to our children. When you read to your child, you develop a stronger bond, stimulate imagination, and interact with quality time.
The Benefits of Reading to Your Child
Did you know that reading to your 4-month-old baby helps them calm down? That’s right. Even though your baby is not talking and doesn’t understand words, your voice calms them. But you don’t need to wait until they are four months old to begin reading to them. You can start reading to them on day one. It may be for just a few minutes, but the time spent holding your baby and reading to them helps settle them down.
Science has shown that reading to your baby while pregnant promotes brain activity, early literacy, and language development. Studies have found exposing children to words helps build their language skills. Hearing their caregivers speak helps them hear speech patterning. But reading to your child exposes them to new words, rhyming sequences, and how to use words. Research has found that daily reading to preschoolers introduces nearly 300,000 words.
Because reading to children encourages larger vocabularies, they have stronger language skills. This helps them learn to read quicker and better than their peers. They also have stronger reading comprehension skills. To reinforce comprehension, allow questions about the story. Being able to comprehend and assimilate information will serve them throughout their life.
Creates a Bond Between You and Your Child
Reading with your child helps you build a relationship with them. They know they have your full attention when it’s time for reading. With older children, reading time becomes an opportunity for asking questions and sharing dreams.
Learning to listen is a valuable part of success. Active listening is a skill that will benefit your child in many areas of life. So, make it fun to listen by reading to them daily. They will learn to listen to the story to discover what happens next. Make the experience engaging. Use silly voices, sound effects, music, and other embellishments.
Reading to your child encourages imagination and exploring new places, people, and activities. Choose books on many topics to introduce your child to the world around them. Also, in reading to your child, you encourage them to dream about what could have been or might be.
Reading time is an integral part of the daily routine at Early Years Academy Child Care. Our teachers recognize the value of books and how they affect your child’s development. If you have questions about our curriculum, books, or other activities, please don’t hesitate to ask.