In honor of National Read-A-Book Day, I wanted to share the top 5 reasons why reading is so important for our children and their brain development. We always hear why it’s a good thing to read – let’s freshen up on the reasons why!
1. Academic Boost. When kids are exposed to books, they tend to have a higher aptitude for learning once they start going to school. Since they know the basics of how words and sentences are put together, they are able to apply the same concepts with math, science and other subjects. So if you’re a new parent, get started reading to your baby early and expose them to the wonderful world of books well before pre-school. Bonus: Reading to your child can help build a strong relationship between the two of you and storytime can become valuable time spent together.
2. Basic Speech and Language Skills. By listening to you read even the simplest of books like Green Eggs and Ham or Daddy Hugs, your child is learning critical language and enunciation skills. He is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language. Try to encourage your toddler to “pretend” read, where he pages through the book and makes squeals or coos with excitement. This is an important pre-literacy activity. By the time your child hits pre-school, he will be able to begin sounding out words on his own.
3. Book Fundamentals. We take it for granted that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page is separate from the images. By exposing children to books early, the essential pre-reading skills are established.
4. Communication Skills. The more time you spend reading to toddlers, the more likely they are to grow up and be able to express themselves and relate to others. They learn how to interact with people by listening to the interactions between story characters during reading time.
5. Applying Fictional Scenarios to Real Life. By relating fictional scenarios in books to what’s happening in their own world, children are able to build their logical thinking skills. They are able to understand the abstract concept of cause and effect, as well as the importance of good judgement. When characters in stories face new, stressful experiences, children are able to relate and learn how to cope with the situation in a healthy way.