Is reading good for you?

Written by Leny Grott

Most of you have often heard about the importance of reading to small children and how it affects their development.  It is true!

Here are a few reasons why reading is good for you.

The earlier the better

Benefits of reading for Infants.

 Beginning early is fundamental because the foundation of language is developing in the baby’s brain even before he/she can talk. Reading to infants will help their early language development.

The more words your infant hears over time, the more words he/she learns.

Reading also helps infants form social skills and build emotional awareness. This is done by reading with enthusiasm, giving different voices to characters and using expressive sounds.

Studies have shown that children who were read to as newborns have a larger vocabulary, as well as more superior numerical skills, than other children their own age.

 A 2019 study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, for example, found that children who are read to every day are exposed to nearly 78,000 words each year—over five years, that adds up to 1.4 million words heard during story time.

Reading to your newborn will give you the unique opportunity of bonding and cuddling. This one on one time sets the stage for the growing child to develop healthy relationships with other people throughout life and to properly experience and practice a full range of feelings.

Reading together when babies are as young as 4 months old increases the probabilities that parents continue reading to children as they get older.

 Benefits of reading for Toddlers

I will start by saying  Toddlers need to move, they are always busy looking for things to touch, things that move, things that make sound, etc.  Don’t get discouraged if they get up in the middle of the story and walk away. 

I’ve heard “he is too little”, or “she doesn’t understand what I’m saying.”  I can assure you, they are not too little and they do understand.  Their young minds are absorbing everything while you read to them.  Reading will help foster their imagination and inspire curiosity. It will also help develop their social and communication skills and familiarizes children with the basic  concepts of  numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way.

Reading to toddlers gives them information about the world around them, helping them understand and respect other people’s perspectives which is really important at this age.

Benefits of reading for Preschool Age children 3-5yo.

 Reading at this stage, helps develop reading, writing and listening skills. Reading improves focus, concentration, memory, creativity, imagination, curiosity and so much more.

Children at this age, begin to understand reading is more than just decoding written words into verbal form; it is about understanding those words were once thoughts in the minds of great thinkers. It is about realizing those ideas can be connected to personal experiences.

Children’s academic successes at ages 9 and 10 can be attributed to the amount of talk they hear from birth through age 3. Hart and Risley, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children.

When adults read to children, discussing story content, asking open-ended questions about story events, explaining the meaning of words, and pointing out features of print, they promote increased language development, comprehension of story content, knowledge of story structure, and a better understanding of language– all of which lead to literacy success. Berk, L. E. (2009). Child Development (8th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc.

Personally, I feel that reading is a unique way to bond with a child. It gives them a sense of caring and comfort.

Feeling loved and important will help a child grow up to be a confident learner.

Credits to Machado Tepper Photo

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