I know we should read to our kids, but what are they actually getting out of it?
The first week in March is “Read Across America” week – a recognized time to celebrate diverse children’s books. On social media, we’re recommending lots of great books that you should check out, but it also got us thinking about the real benefits of reading to our kids.
We did some research and found some really interesting things that made us feel even better about how that time together impacts our kids.
Language development, improved vocabulary, and an increased likelihood to develop reading skills more quickly. Those little brains are sponges and the more words they hear, whether read or spoken, the more the brain develops. Studies show exposure to more words before the age of 3 have measurable differences for kids into their teens.
Reading stories to kids opens up worlds of fantasy, inspirational characters, and beloved species. It has actually shown in brain scans to strengthen parts of the brain tied to a child’s imagination. Some of the best parts of childhood are dreaming, creating, imagining – reading helps children exercise those skills and makes them feel safe to do so.
The Warm and Fuzzy
The end of the day can be tiring, and with a drawn-out bedtime routine, sometimes I want to speed through the reading part. And every time, I’m glad I didn’t. Turns out kids are glad we don’t skip it either. Similar to playing with our kids, reading to them is powerful attention.
Positive parental interactions have significant behavioral benefits to our kids – it makes them happier and strengthens the connections that make them feel safe and secure. It provides comfort and calm. It provides an environment for conversation that may not otherwise be shared. Reading is a really easy and enjoyable way to strengthen that bond.
At Rayz Kidz, we’re all about children’s development – giving parents and caregivers the tools they need for their kids to thrive. We hope that tonight, when you sit down to read to your kids, you feel really good about it – because your kids certainly do.
Feel Good About Reading to Your Kids
Author: Annie Delaney, Rayz Kidz Co-Founder