The benefits of reading time with your child are well-documented: children who read from a young age experience more measurable success as adults, they develop language and communications as well as critical thinking better, and their social skills improve. But how young is too young to start reading with your child? The truth is, no age is too young and even reading to babies has real benefit. Read several concrete benefits of reading to babies and how it’s never too early to get your child started with literature.
Reading to Babies Is Bonding Time
Babies use their parents’ voice as a means by which they develop a close bond with mom and dad. By spending time reading to babies, you are able to strengthen the bonds they feel, and establishes your voice as a soothing comfort when they need it.
It Prepares Them for Reading
Reading to your child helps to prepare them for their own reading later. They may not understand the words you’re saying, but the rhythm and inflection, the tone of your voice and the way you deliver the words can be absorbed. This helps them to prepare for reading activities as they grow.
Building the Big Brain
Scientific studies show that kids who are read to as infants actually develop more brainpower. They develop larger vocabularies earlier, pick up more advanced math skills and develop an earlier and more advanced ability to use language. Kids whose parents read to them as infants score higher on standardized tests by the age of three than kids who don’t have exposure to reading.
Contact with the World
Parents who spend time reading to infants will notice that the children begin to respond to the rhythm of the voice. They will move their arms and legs and create facial expressions in direct relations to the delivery of the text. This helps them in their burgeoning contact with the world and their ability to explore the environment around them.
Many kids who learn to read early engage in what is called “sight reading.” That is, rather than actually knowing how words go together or the specific sounds of the words, they see a pattern of letters and recognize it for what it is and what it means.
When you read to your baby and share the pictures, words and other visual stimuli to your child, it helps them to build this pattern recognition, which helps them not only to learn to read on their own, but to engage in other forms of pattern recognition as they grow, from symbols to numbers.
Children respond to moving pictures and sounds. Using an interactive eBook to help stimulate your child’s mind is a great way to engage and amuse them. Take some time to review the variety of free eBooks we have available, then explore the rest of our site for other great early literacy tips, tricks and tools.