Reading a book while holding a child, contributes to brain wiring in many valuable ways. Brain connections are made through visual stimulation, direct interactive language, and from close physical contact with a caring adult.
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A child can learn and benefit greatly from being read to right from the day they are born.
- It encourages children to make connections between the "heard" word and the meaning "behind" the word.
- It gives them a positive foundation to pre-reading skills that aids the process of becoming independent readers in the future.
- One of the most important skills a parent can teach children is how to communicate: how to speak, listen, and to read. By reading aloud to your children, you are teaching them all of these skills.
- Reading to young children also expands their vocabulary, improves memory, and allows them to practice listening skills.
- Read to your child from a variety of sources. Such as books, cereal boxes, magazines, road signs, and greeting cards. By reading from a variety of sources, you are teaching the importance of the written word.
- Try making books from cardboard and pasting pictures from magazines - kids love these.
- Baby books should be sturdy and uncluttered with lots of bright primary colors. Babies also like books with photos of real people - particularly of other babies.
- As your baby grows and becomes more mobile, incorporate movement and actions that go along with the books. For example, when reading "Humpty Dumpty" pretend to fall with your little one at the right time. They will soon come to anticipate this movement and be really excited about it. It's remarkable how quickly they learn these little routines and grow to love them.
- Toddlers rapidly develop a group of favorite books and will want you to read them again and again. This can be a little boring for you, but it's important to your toddler because they find great delight in repetition. It encourages them to learn the meaning of words, which is vital for language development.
- As your child becomes older, he will want books that actually tell a story and have an ending that makes sense to him. Books help to develop the toddler's attention span. They contribute to children forming a rich vocabulary and verbal skills.
- Books also help to develop thinking and the imagination.
- They also contribute to the development of basic reading concepts such as following the words from the left to right side of a page. Place books within easy reach of your child, so they can enjoy looking at them on their own.
So go and grab some books from your local book shop. Or get into the habit of taking your young child to the library to choose his own. This can go a long way to helping your child become a proficient and confident reader later on in life.