There are tons of benefits to reading with your child. Taking some time every evening to sit down and share a story with your kid builds a bond between you, stimulates their creative thinking and analytical skills, improves language comprehension and increases their chances of success in life overall. There are also important opportunities for teaching them lessons both academic and in life. Learn about the lessons you can teach with bedtime stories, and the vital importance of this method of educating your child.
The Science of Bedtime Stories
The verdict is in: you should be reading bedtime stories to your child every night. A 2010 study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that there is a deep connection between the activity in the brain of an engaged listener. Scientists point out that humans are by our nature creatures of storytelling. It’s how we share our history and teach lessons.
Stories have an intense effect on our emotions and create an intellectual connection, and it is now known that this is because our brains are wired to seek out this connection. We are, in short, scientifically built to absorb and learn through stories.
Among those lessons kids can learn through bedtime stories are practical skills. Some of these skills may not even seem obvious at first, but research shows that bedtime stories can help kids to improve math skills, writing ability, critical thinking, apply innovative and creative solutions to problems and more.
Many children’s books are specifically written to teach life lessons. Everything from sharing and caring to interacting with other people, from proper codes of behavior, honesty and honor to the importance of understanding other cultures can be found in a wide variety of evening reading activities. If you want to help your child develop a strong moral and ethical core, you can engage them with stories from the classic mysteries of Nancy Drew to the books of Doctor Seuss, to The Hobbit or the Harry Potter series.
Hammering It Home
The key is to spend time communicating with your child about the book. After each reading session, take the opportunity to talk with your child about the story you read together, what they liked about it and especially what they think it’s about. Ask them what they learned, and guide them to see what’s under the surface of the basic story events.
Always remember that listening to stories engages a child’s brain on an important and fundamental level. This helps them to develop their learning and thinking skills and will keep them coming back for more. Studies also show that the more a child reads, the more they want to read. So the best way to get your kid reading is to read with them!
If you’d like more information on engaging your child through reading, start with one of our free interactive ebooks and explore the rest of our site for more fun literacy tools and games today!