Reading to a child is one of the greatest gifts you can give them! When you start reading to your child in their infancy and through their preschool years, it creates a love for reading and gives them a jump start on their language skills. By setting aside time to read to your child each day, you are giving them the gift of a special, one on one snuggle time, which creates a nurturing relationship. When you read to your child, you are showing them that reading is fun and exciting because it opens up a new world to them where they get to see and hear exciting new things through stories. The nurturing relationships you build while reading are also important to the child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development. Reading helps their brain development on so many levels!
There is a great deal of new research being done on brain development in infancy. “New brain research reveals that synapses, the connections between neurons, are twice as plentiful at 24 months than as in adulthood. Reading to babies helps “wire in” those synapses, so that babies get an early intellectual boost. Early reading promotes early literacy.”1
“Through reading, we can help our children find the tools they need to succeed in life. Having access to information through the printed word is an absolute necessity. Knowledge is power, and books are full of it. But reading is more than just a practical tool. Through books we can enrich our minds; we can also relax and enjoy some precious leisure moments. With your help, children begin a lifelong relationship with the printed word; they can grow into adults who read easily and frequently whether for business, knowledge, or pleasure.”2
There is a great wealth of information and research out there about the importance of reading starting from infancy and brain development. If you would like to read more about this topic, here are a few good websites for parents and child care providers:
1 Infants & Toddlers: How to Read To Very Young Children by Alice Sterling Honig PhD, Scholastic, Early Childhood Today
2 Reading with Your Child by Bernice Cullinan and Brod Bagert, U.S. Department of Education
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