Reading bedtime stories may be the perfect opportunity to offer some precious time and attention to your child, but did you know that this simple reading activity brings more benefits than simply preparing them to sleep? From their brain development to language skills and vocabulary, reading bedtime stories is an excellent approach to enhance your child’s learning abilities. Delight your child with a good bedtime story or two regularly, and see these benefits unfold before too long. Here are five wonderful benefits of reading bedtime stories to your kids.
Contributes to your child’s brain development
Studies over the years have shown that parents reading to their child creates a positive impact on their brain development and activation of brain areas supporting mental imagery and narrative comprehension. According to a 2015 study from the journal American Academy of Pediatrics, higher reading exposure was positively correlated with neural activation in the left-sided parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex, a “hub” region supporting semantic language processing. This means that reading some bedtime stories to your child helps them develop mastery of the language through sounds, visuals and words that can be added to their vocabulary. It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Regardless of whether they are too young to be capable of speech, reading aloud from birth helps your child become familiar with the language and develop pre-literacy skills that allows them to succeed by the time they enter school.
Help lower stress levels
Stress management based off of reading can be just as effective in kids as it is in adults. Reading helps your child’s mind wander off to places they haven’t been to and takes them on an adventure that goes beyond the environment they’re used to seeing. In adults, reading allows us to leave our troubles behind, allowing our muscles to relax and loosen up. Meanwhile in kids, cuddling with a parent for a bedtime story reduces cortisol levels which helps them relax and concentrate better.
Enhance their language and communication skills
Conversations are better when you talk about something both you and your child can relate to. This is when the importance of reading a book comes in. Encourage your child to engage in a conversation while reading them bedtime stories. Communication is an important social skill and this can be honed through conversations about the books you’ve read. Make reading an interactive experience by letting your child guess what’s next in the story and what made them think so. Make it known to your child that all opinions are welcome to get them comfortable in speaking out their thoughts. Take turns in reading, use funny voices, emphasize phonemes and teach them about the sounds of each vowel in your words. Getting familiar with these different vowel sounds helps your child get better with pronunciation and be able to distinguish the differences between each sound.
Improve logic skills
Have you ever had a child ask you to read their favorite book each night for a week or more? You may grow tired of reading that book over and over but with repetition comes mastery and observation. Children would start to notice patterns as you repeat them. They’ll start to remember words that rhyme. And learn to predict the possible outcomes of certain scenes using context clues they pick up from stories you are reading. Developing these skills at an early age can help your child later on in school as they tackle math problems and observe structures and patterns to understand various sequences in a logical manner. This exercise of logic also helps promote critical thinking and good reasoning.
Encourages your child to love reading
Want to spark your child’s love for books at an early age? Make a habit of reading bedtime stories to your child as early as right now. Kids of all ages love bedtime stories. Not just for the one-on-one time time while snuggled up in a nice warm blanket with you, but for the relaxing feeling that helps them unwind after a long day in school. This pleasant experience creates a sense of comfort in your child which then cultivates their love for reading and motivates them to read on their own.
At Early Childhood University, we provide a world-class curriculum that prepares your child for success in school and beyond. Send your little ones to a school that focuses on a child’s holistic development. Please feel free to give us a call for more information or visit theearlychildhooduniversity.com.