How can reading to my child help with development?

Feb 6, 2013 by

deborahBy Deborah McNelis, Brain Insights

Beyond being healthy is there anything parents want more for their child than to be happy, to be smart and to feel loved?

Did you know reading books together creates all of this for a child?

Learning:

Studies have shown that in most cases, the highest level high school and college students were read to as young children. This is due to the fact that reading aloud helps children develop language and vocabulary before they start school.

The brain is experience dependent. That means, a child must be exposed to language to be able to make the brain connections for using language. The brain develops most language skills from birth to the age of three. When children are talked to frequently during these early years, the result is a better vocabulary and a higher level of language and reading ability overall.

Happiness:

Children love to hear stories. Just watch the face of a child light up when they are enjoying a new book or are hearing a favorite story again. The brain learns through repetition. This is why you will often hear children saying, “read it again!”. Children also enjoy and benefit from books that have a repeating phrase throughout a story.

When children are enjoying an activity many new brain connections are made. The connections made through enjoyable reading experiences will also strengthen existing connections.

It is important to read together when the child is in the right mood to make it an enjoyable time. A positive attitude about books and learning emerges from these positive interactions.

Feeling Loved:

Reading aloud helps develop a special bond between parent and child. Reading provides a special time to talk, share, hug, laugh, and feel togetherness. Sharing a book together can be as simple as looking at the pictures. All of this is an important part of reading readiness.

One of the most important things a child needs to learn early is how special they are. Frequent loving interactions create brain connections that can last a life time. When children feel valued they gain the confidence needed for greater learning.

Ideas for Reading Fun……!

(A child’s brain will like these!)

Make new fun places and opportunities for reading!

The brain likes novelty. It becomes more alert when things are new and different.

…. Make a “reading nook” by putting a blanket over a table.

…. Read outside under a tree, at a picnic table, on a blanket, or in a hammock.

…. Bring a book to the doctor or dentist office, restaurant or anywhere else you have to wait. (The brain does not like to be bored)

…. Make a cozy reading spot by filling a dry bathtub with pillows.

…. After reading a book together have your child retell the story to a stuffed animal or another family member.

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