Here at Sparkles, we love reading, and reading to children is the most fun (we even wrote a book to read to our students!). It’s an engaging, mind-stimulating way to educate and excite kids. Did you know that it’s extremely beneficial to read to babies, too? Check out our list of ways that reading to your little one from the beginning creates a lifetime of benefits.
Reading to Babies…
- Promotes listening skills. By reading to your littlest ones, you’re teaching them to maintain their attention and focus on the task at hand. Listening skills can be challenging for children to master, so whatever you can do early on to promote them is a bonus.
- Builds their vocabulary. With every story, you’re exposing your child to new words. The more they hear, they more they will have under their belt when it’s time to express themselves to the world.
- Expands attention spans. Just like reading promotes listening skills, it also enhances focus. Choose books with bright colors and engaging pictures to maximize their attention. You’re teaching your child to focus until the story ends, stretching their focus a little more each time.
- Provides bonding time. Maybe even more special than vocabulary and listening skills is the bonding reading allows. There’s little better than snuggling your bundle in your lap and sharing a fun story with hugs and giggles. With each snuggle, you’re building confidence and reassuring your child that they are safe and loved.
- Introduces important concepts. ABCs, 123s, colors and shapes are in books all around us. Books introduce these essential early childhood concepts in a fun way. Starting early gives your child a little edge on letter, number, color and shape identification.
- Teaches babies about the world around them. From seasons to animals and vehicles to social interactions, children’s stories teach lessons about the world. Conversations show how people interact. Stories share how vehicles operate and what animals do. There’s so much to learn about their environment, and books teach them in engaging and colorful ways.
- Familiarizes babies with speech patterns. Before your baby even understands your words, they glean a lot from your tone of voice. Reading with expression teaches babies about a variety of reactions, as well as the rhythm of speech patterns.
- Enhances memory. People often say that babies are little sponges (though much cuter!). This is very true! Reading teaches them concepts and gives them plenty of things to grasp and remember.
- Allows babies to be interactive and participatory. When reading, ask babies to point to objects and help turn the pages. Depending on the book, there are many ways to get your baby involved in the story. They will get excited and learn to follow early directions. Win, win!
- Encourages imagination. From a very early age, the creativity starts churning. Fictional stories and talking about the illustrations in the book stimulate your baby’s imagination and will be the building blocks for imaginative play in the toddler years.
If you’re not already reading to your baby daily, we highly recommend it. You’ll provide countless benefits with each book read and provide your child with what he or she loves the most — time with you! At Sparkles!, we incorporate reading into each day and encourage discussion about stories, characters and how the story relates to our lives. Here are a few of our favorites for our littlest ones. Enjoy!