While it may seem strange to start reading to your child when he or she is still an infant, studies are showing more and more that beginning to read to children at a very early age can be beneficial. Children without impairments can see and hear from birth, so they are constantly developing new areas of the brain in response to given visual and audible stimuli. Reading books can help children to develop specific areas of the brain that may help make learning easier throughout the child’s life.
Developing a Positive Association with Books
The way that parents read to children can make as much of a difference as the reading itself. When parents place children on their lap or sit close, it can help children to associate books with that positive interaction. If parents use different voices and really show interest in a story, it can help kids to become more interested. The association may carry over from a particular book or series into books about all different types of things.
Choose Challenging Books
When choosing books, parents should be selective to get the most out of the interaction. Books that are chosen should be interesting for the child’s age group, but should also be challenging. In this way, parents can help to coax children to expand their horizons when it comes to reading by showing children what wonderful stories can be obtained when they push themselves. Infants should be shown picture books with very simple stories, toddlers can be shown more involved stories, but still kept interested with pictures. When children reach school age, parents may find it beneficial to begin reading chapter books with fewer pictures, extending the story by reading a few chapters each night and leaving cliffhangers to hold the child’s interest.