In fact, when you read to your toddler you are creating a bond with them and helping to develop their imagination.
“You’re creating lasting memories and connection with your children,” says Healy.
“The parent-child relationship is strengthened through authentic and meaningful interactions, such as reading stories (or telling one from your imagination).”
Pictures in books are very important for learning
Young children love to turn the pages and look at the bright pictures.
“Toddlers certainly want books that feel good, look interesting, have great images, and even sound or sensory stimulating things (peek-a-book, puppets, touch, or funny mirrors inside),” Healy adds.
“The more interactive a book for a toddler, the better. And if it’s a book about something of interest to them, whether it’s going to space or zoo animals, that’s the best.”
Reading to our kids helps boost their brain
Meanwhile, a study conducted by Reading & Literacy Discovery Center of Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital found through brain scans how reading boosts a child’s development.
Areas in the brain that organise language and literacy glowed red on the scans while kids were reading a book.
“This is important because the brain is developing the most rapidly in the first five years,” said lead author Dr. John Hutton, a paediatrician and clinical researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“Kids who have more stimulating experiences that organise the brain are at a huge advantage when they get to school. And it’s really harder and harder for kids to catch up if they arrive behind.”
However, screen time doesn’t help boost a child’s brain the same way as books.
“Children are born with more neurons than they’ll ever have in their life, essentially a blank slate,” adds Hutton.
“Depending on what type of stimulation the child has with caregivers — being talked to, being held, going outside, being read to — connections between these neurons are reinforced.”
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