The more you read to your child the more knowledge they will absorb, helping them to understand different topics about the world and everyday life! This will lead to a thirst for more knowledge, whether that be for different cultures or languages it encourages children to ask questions about the book.
Reading develops language skills. Children who read do better in language and literacy subjects (Matt Brown and Dr Alice Sullivan), as reading has been strongly linked to greater intellectual progress – an impact 4 x greater than that of having a parent with a post-secondary degree! Chatting to your kids every day at home, the language is often repetitive, whereas reading ensures your child is exposed to vocabulary on a wider topic area that may not be talked about or experienced in the home.
Reading exercises your child’s brain and enhances their concentration
Evidence suggests that specific areas of the brain, critical for a child’s language development, are affected when young children have reading exposure at home from an early age. As with anything, repetition encourages habit, and reading to your child everyday will help enormously for their ability to sit still and listen for extended periods of time, which will help when they are a little older in school!
Reading is a form of entertainment…that’s not an iPad, an app on your phone, or any form of technology for that matter! We all know that screen time can have negative effects on kids, here are just a few of them!
The blue light emitted from the devices hinders sleep even after the device is shut off! This is why it’s so important to limit your child’s screen time a couple hours prior to bed time.
Sleep deprivation will typically cause the child to be cranky, and with the sedentary nature of being in front of a screen they will be much more lethargic and have an increased risk of obesity.
Too much screen time will lead to a loss of social skills as kids lose the ability to interact with others around them.
Also it’s important to note lots of video games feature violence. Even very young kids are drawn to games that use weapons. Studies show that children who spend a lot of time watching violent TV shows and/or playing violent video games are far more likely to be aggressive both in the home and at school.
Reading helps develop a child’s imagination and creativity and empathy
Who doesn’t love cuddling up with their little one and reading together!? Or even just watching their little brains inquire, question and be mesmerised by what’s on the page in front of them. You’re creating a bond with your kids whilst watching their growing imaginations, one of the most amazing experiences you will witness as a parent! For working mummies and daddies, bedtime stories can be a great way to strengthen this bond. When we truly engage in a book we really identify with the characters, feel what they feel and try to understand and relate to the situation as reality.
So, instead of giving your child a phone or tablet to entertain them this evening, pick up a book and explore it together! Do this every evening (whether there be tears or not at first….), until it becomes a routine and habit. Trust us, your little ones will reap the benefits!!