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Reasons why you should read to your child

As a parent, you have the power to boost your children’s learning potential simply by making books an integral part of their lives.

We all know reading to our kids is a good thing, right? But are you familiar with the specific advantages your toddler or preschool-age child can achieve by being exposed to reading?

 

  • A stronger relationship with you. As your children grow older, they’ll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring their environment. Snuggling up with a book lets you slow down and recapture that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when they were babies. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring you closer together.
  • Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning in general. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education.
  • Basic speech skills. From 2-5 years of age, your child is learning critical language and speaking skills. By listening to you read, your child is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language.
  • The basics of how to read a book. Children aren’t born with an innate knowledge that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page are separate from the images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading.
  • Better communication skills. When you spend time reading to toddlers, they’ll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.
  • Mastery of language. Early reading for toddlers has been linked to a better grasp of the fundamentals of language as they approach school age.
  • More logical thinking skills. As your children begin to relate the scenarios in books to what’s happening in their own world, they naturally become more excited about the stories you share.
  • Acclamation to new experiences. As your child approaches a major developmental milestone or a potentially stressful experience, sharing a relevant story is a great way to help ease the transition. For instance, if your little one is nervous about starting preschool, reading a story dealing with this topic shows that anxiety is normal.
  • Enhanced concentration and discipline. Toddlers may initially squirm and become distracted during story time, but eventually they’ll learn to stay put for the duration of the book. Along with reading comprehension comes a stronger self-discipline, longer attention span, and better memory retention, all of which will serve your child well when starting school.
  • The knowledge that reading is fun! Early reading for toddlers helps them view books as an indulgence, not a chore. Kids who are exposed to reading are much more likely to choose books over video games, television, and other forms of entertainment as they grow older.

 

 

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Lillian Reekie

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