What are the benefits of reading to your child?
Books are amazing; we can learn anything from them and reading a book for leisure enables us to relax, pause our minds and escape into an imaginary world. Exposing your children to books can only benefit them, and you don’t have to wait for them to be a certain age for that, you can start straight away!
Newborns like to hear and feel the vibrations and sound of your voice. So as soon as you feel like reading, read out loud!
At this stage, it can be any kind of book that you enjoy, and it doesn’t have to be parenting or children related. Yet, it will strengthen your bond, and help sooth your little one.
Around 3-4 months old, your baby will be able to stay awake for a longer length of time and will look for visual stimulation. This is a great time to start introducing small black and white books. You can hold the book in front of them so they can see and describe the images.
From around 5-6 months, you can offer them sensory books, with different textures inside for them to touch and feel; as well as colorful books, and puppet books. It is also a good time to introduce short story books before nap and/or bedtime.
From around 12 months, word books and flap books are the best. Your child will be busy crawling or walking around so may lose a bit of interest in books. Flap books will be fun for them, and word books will enable them to associate sounds and the actual word to an object. You can still read storybooks, especially before sleeping, and it’s ok if they don’t want to sit for the story. Even when playing around, they will still be able to hear it and benefit from your reading.
Around 18 months old, they will have more focus and will stay with a book for longer, so you can increase the length of a storybook. Books are a great way to pass on a message to your child. Whether you are starting potty training, have trouble during mealtime, are expecting another child, moving house, or have a different new change in your life, find a book on the subject to help your child understand the situation better.
And when you are tired of reading the same book over and over again, you can find some with buttons your little one can press for songs, sounds or voices to appear. They are especially great for potty training, or when you need a minute, as your child will be able to turn the pages and listen to the book without help.
Once your child can speak, you can find funny books with jokes for lots of laughs.
And once they develop an interest in reading the words, you can find great picture books with small text written in big letters. When reading these books with them, you can point at the words while reading.
Your child can benefit so much from you reading to them!
- It help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills;
- Spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity;
- Develop your child’s brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills;
- Help your child understand new or frightening events, and the strong emotions that come with them;
- Help your child learn about the world, their own culture and other cultures;
- Develop your bond, and strengthen your relationship;
- It can help calm and soothe them;
- Cultivate a lifelong love of reading.
If books are not a big part of routine, make some more space for them!