We all know that reading to your child is essential to build vocabulary, increase critical reasoning and improve their chances of academic success as they grow. Many parents, however, wonder when the right time to start reading to their children is. The truth of the matter is that it is never too early to start reading to your kids. The benefits of reading time can manifest even in the youngest infants. Here’s a look at why early reading time is essential to your baby’s development.
Early Reading and Development
The American Academy of Pediatrics released information just last year that highlights a new study regarding reading to your kids at an early age. These guidelines hammer home the idea that reading to infants helps their brains develop.
The study in question was published in the Pediatrics journal and used MRI scans to examine the brains of children aged 3 to 5 as they listened to a story read by their parents. The toddlers’ brains positively lit up as they listened. Those toddlers who had frequent reading times at home showed even more activity, particularly in the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex, which is the part of the brain that handles aural and visual stimulation.
Activity in Children
The brain activity in toddlers, it is believed, associates directly to infants as well. This means that when you read to an infant, their brain also lights up with activity, and the activity increases the more often they hear stories. While many think that pictures are vital to reading time with children, the study shows that listening to stories even without pictures results in stimulation of the brain.
This activity, in fact, does not happen when children watch videos, even if the videos are of the exact same story. This is because videos feed images to the brain, rather than requiring the brain to create the images on its own.
The conclusion of the study was that when babies hear stories regularly, their brain develops in such a way as to encourage improved early language development and expanded imagination abilities. This in turn helps kids become better readers as they grow, and better students when they finally enter their school years.
There’s little doubt that reading is one of the single most important things that parents can do with their children to raise healthy, independent, intelligent and reasoned kids who grow into intelligent and imaginative adults.
Early reading time and exploration of a broad variety of topics and stories is important to the development of language, reasoning and imagination skills that will be vital to your child’s development. It is never too early to begin this reading time, and starting off with interactive eBooks is a great way not only to make reading time fun, but to engage other aspects of your child’s creativity and reading. Why not start off with an animal story like The Blue Fox, and then take a look at some of the other early literacy tools we have to offer? Get your child off to a great start today!