Why reading aloud to young children is so important
Reading aloud to children at an early age can give them a better chance of success in the future because it activates parts of a child’s brain that helps strengthen their imagery and literacy development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Reading to children also provides a foundation of developmental strengths that carries the child through their school years, according to the AAP. For example, children seem to be more interested in reading and wanting to learn in school if they read a home with their parents or family members.
Reading to children helps develop cognitive ability, language and literacy skills, as well as social-emotional growth, but it also creates a stronger nurturing relationship between the child and parent. Parents also benefit from reading aloud as it creates a closer bond with their child.
“As a pediatrician, I have always recommended reading to children beginning at an early age,” says Dr. John Beckerman, pediatrician at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL. “We have books throughout our office, and the kids like them as much as they like the toys. Sometimes kids will also bring a book for me to read to them.”
According to the AAP, it’s important to make reading fun for kids. The organization offers the following tips when parents read to their children:
- When reading to toddlers, point and name the images on the pages of the story books.
- Make sure to ask young children questions and recite rhymes from a story to engage them.
- Don’t get discouraged if young children stop paying attention because of their short attention spans. The long-term benefit of reading together will help set up your children for a successful future.
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