The Many Benefits of Reading with Your Child
Feature Fact Friday!
Reading to your child. It seems like something that would be natural and innate. Well, unfortunately, with modern technology, it's sometimes easier to download popular children's books onto their devices and have the device read to them. This does serve a purpose, as the child is learning vocabulary and sentence structure, but what are they missing out on???
In a study entitled, "Reading Aloud, Play and Social-Emotional Development," the researchers found that when parents read, played, and interacted with their children, behaviors such as aggression, hyperactivity, and difficulty with attention decreased. This was also shown to increase children's language skills and cognition. There could be a direct correlation between the more reading you do with your child, the more you will play with them.
Young children learn best from "back-and-forth" interaction and repetition. Don't get frustrated when your child asks for "Goodnight Moon" or "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See" Every night of the week. They are learning new vocabulary, memorizing the pictures and story, and anticipating what you will say next. Children are programmed to react to people and to crave human attention and interaction. What better way to interact with your child than with a good book!
Reading with your child may not come naturally for everyone, so the Our First Year team has included some tips to make reading time more interactive:
- Point out the various pictures in the book
- Repeat new vocabulary words several times
- Ask questions about the story (Who are the characters? Where are they? Was there a problem? What happened at the very end of the story?) Asking these "wh" questions early on
may help to resolve some of the difficulty school-age children have with discerning "when"
These tips work for older kids, but what about toddlers? How can you provide a meaningful literacy interaction with very young children? Picture books are great, but the child needs the adult to point out the pictures, name the various objects, make the animal sounds, and possibly even create a story.
No matter the age of your child, take some time to read a book with them. The benefits are endless. It is also important for those older children, who are reading on their own, to see their parents reading. They need to understand that reading is an enjoyable pastime and NOT a chore.
Here are some summer reading suggestions for adults:
"A Court of Thorns and Roses" series by Sarah J. Maas
"The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion
"Outander" series by Diana Gabaldon
"The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
Some favorite authors include:
For more information on how to maximize your reading time with your baby, check out the activity cards in the Our First Year backpack...it's all in the bag!