Reading. Benefits of reading for babies

The passion to read does not emerge by itself, but is self-educated. Performance in reading, as in anything else, is hard to achieve and even harder to maintain.

Reading has a number of benefits not only for babies. It’s no secret – reading stimulates imagination and develops the vocabulary. You think your child is too young to reap the rewards of reading? Think again. Research shows that it is never too early to start enjoying books with your little child. So get ready to gradually develop their passion for reading right from birth.

Enjoy this new ritual with your baby. According to experts, the quality of the books parents read to their little ones predicts the reading skills of the latter in the preschool period. At the same time, the number and quality of the read books impacts on the future literacy skills. For example, it has been discovered that there is ability to write the name at the age of four.

The role of reading is particularly important in organizing a healthy lifestyle. According to UNESCO, a child born to a mother who knows how to read is by 50% more likely to survive after the age of 5, compared to a child whose mother is illiterate. Knowing this is particularly important, because, although among young people, the level of women’s education has increased rapidly in recent years, three out of five young people who cannot write and read are women.

The extraordinary effects of reading on babies

At what age can parents start reading to their children?

It is never too early to start. You take the baby in your arms, caress them, they hear your voice and you will have a wonderful experience of parent-child attunement. Once babies begin to see well and to react to the world around them, they are more than ready to be read books.

Does reading also influence how the child’s brain develops?

Another study conducted at the Pediatric Academic Societies, supports the relation between reading and brain development, in the sense of preparing it, very early, for reading skills.

Researchers said they are able to demonstrate for the first time that the exposure of children to reading during the critical developmental stage before nursery school seems to have a significant and measurable impact on how a child’s brain processes stories.

To see if reading affects the brain connections that support reading skills in preschool children, the American Academy of Pediatrics studied 19 children aged 3-5.

The results showed that a greater exposure to reading is strongly associated with the activation of specific areas of the brain that support semantic processing. These areas are critical for the oral language and, later, for reading.

How much and how often do we read to them?

Even 15 minutes a day may be enough. Although this seems a short interval, it means a lot for the further development of the child. If parents adopt this habit, they will provide more than 456 hours or about 27,375 minutes of reading to their children up to the age of five. Pretty convincing, huh?

What kind of books do we choose?

In general, the book covers for young children specify the age the books are addressed to. You should choose the right books, first of all, depending on the age of the child.

There are also other criteria of choice in order to stimulate the child’s interest in books and reading. Children usually prefer books containing:

  • large images and contrasting colors;
  • various sounds, textures and shapes;
  • animal stories;
  • rhymes;
  • new words and experiences.

The more you spend time reading to your child, the more you know which books raise their interest.

It is obvious that babies will want to explore the books in their own way: hold them with their own hands, turn the pages independently and even “taste” the books. Do not deny them this experience.

Even at the age of 2-3, children will often want to do anything else with books than let you read to them from these books.

By making reading a regular routine in your family, you will teach your child that reading is something to enjoy. This attitude will encourage a passion for reading, which they will carry through school and into adulthood.

Do you ask yourself what to do when you get bored of children’s books as a parent? Don’t worry! Newborns cannot yet understand your words, so you are the one who chooses what you are going to read today.

A newspaper article, a printed novel, a more complex book of philosophy or maybe even a detective story.

As long as you do it, it doesn’t matter what you read! Over time, you will form a personal and unique ritual.

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