We all know that reading to preschoolers or school-going kids is good but does it benefit babies as well? The answer is ‘yes’, and I can say it from my very own experience! This is especially necessary if you really want to create a life-long hobby of reading in them.
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You can start reading to them at an early age of 4 months. Though the pictures in the book mean nothing to them, it is surely going to improve their vision. Reading to them is also going to help in their cognitive development.
Further, a repetition of the book is going to help them in memorizing things. It also helps in building up their vocabulary sooner and helps in their speech development too.
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1. The best time for this will be before going to bed, when there is no one to disturb you and the baby. Cuddle together while you read to your baby.
2. When a parent reads to the baby, it obviously makes the bond strong. The baby learns to identify the voice and respond to it soon.
3. Never think that there is no point reading a story to your little one, as he or she is not going to understand it. They may not be able to understand the actual story, but the act of reading a story out loud to them does a world of good: they learn to pay attention to sound, voice, speaking, observing how your voice changes, how your face changes when you read.
4. Do repeat the books or the stories to make it fun and easier to remember.
5. Point out the pictures while you read and later ask the baby to point out few objects. You will surely get your answers and you will be amazed!
6. Instead of just reciting a story, incorporate different accents for the characters, use hand gestures and let the emotions of the story be reflected on your face.
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I have always been reading to my son (may be skipping a day or two) since he was 5 months. He is two now. Some of the benefits that I have seen in him (because of reading) are:
1. He has become a story lover and won’t sleep without listening one. What’s more, he remembers it the next morning too!
2. He has a good vocabulary. Although he may not have experienced or seen the things I read to him about, he is still beginning to recognise them. For example, astronaut, planets (especially Earth), and dinosaurs!
3. He understands well the meaning of good manners and bad ones too. If someone pushes him, he does not resort to ‘tit-for-tat’, saying it’s bad manners.
4. He has developed keen interest in books. Once I finish reading a book to him, he himself takes the book from me and looks at the pictures keenly to fit in the story that was told to him. This is helping him to develop a sharp memory, and is definitely assisting his cognitive development.
The importance of reading cannot be disputed. By incorporating books in your child’s everyday routine and looking for a creative way to promote reading, you will be giving your little one a head start towards academic success and a rich, vivid imagination.
Did you read about how to choose right books for babies and toddlers