The benefits of reading your baby a child a story or book have been investigated heavily. It is found that a lot of brain rewiring can happen after 8 weeks of reading a child a book before bed every night. It helps incredibly with speech development and the understanding of certain words that can often sound similar such as fall and doll apparently.
Also, as children get older it helps to teach them to pronounce properly and in turn spell.
Recently we have been doing Thomas’ weekly spellings with him and the ones he gets wrong he pronounces incorrectly too. A lot of words he says with an ‘f’ instead of ‘th’ such as thing and quite often he spells them wrong as he spells how he speaks.
Reading with him as much as we can, when we have him, has helped and in turn we have been doing this for Evelyn in a hope to prevent the same happening to her.
Bedtime stories, that emphasize sounds, help hugely when learning. Also the way that the books are read makes a huge impact too. For example ‘Guess How Much I love You’ we read ‘Guess How Much I Love Yooouuuu.’ Or for example ‘Moon’ would be read ‘Mooooon’. The emphasis on the oooo sounds helps children to development the sound and say it for themselves.
Recently Evelyn has been loving the poxy Baby Shark song, however, now she can perfectly say the word ‘Do’ and does very very frequently. SO it is swings and roundabouts I guess.
I didn’t realise that short attention spans in children are 90% due to television. Quick paced television programs mean that children become restless when the action is diminished meaning their brain often gets bored and they are quickly on to the next thing.
It is not just brain rewiring that happens when we read books to children though. It also aids imagination. When finishing a book ourselves we often think of what happens next or what happens to the characters and that is the same in children too. As they fall asleep they think of these things and their dreams do the rest. This in turn aids imagination when playing and creating their own stories with toys etc.
Bedtime stories from a young age also encourages the love of reading. Reading a book doesn’t make you a geek or boring it makes you quite the opposite really. It can often spark conversation or aid knowledge. When I read The Origin of Species in my late teens a lot of it went over my head, but, it also stuck a lot in my brain and has since enabled me to form my own semi-educated opinion. Books can be a wealth of knowledge if we have the patience to sit down and read them and by instilling the desire young you will stand your children in good stead for a bright future. When you read with children and it is enjoyable they will learn to often pick up a book themselves without a second thought.
That brings us nicely into the fact that it can instill good habits in your children too. When putting your child to bed with a book it becomes routine that they enjoy and they then learn the bedtime routine. This is turn can encourage them to do their teeth and go to the toilet etc before bed and then get their bedtime story. It is also a great bribe when they are slightly older too and they don’t want to do teeth before bed etc. ‘Quick do you teeth and then you can have an exciting story’ often aids for teeth being done happily.
That all aside it also creates a great bond with your child. I remember as a child being all snuggled in to my mum as she read me a book and the thought now is still comforting. So giving children fond memories is simply an added bonus.
As much as Evelyn adores interactive books with flaps we try and leave those for day time reading as she gets so excited by them. It is all about keeping that calmness and her heart beat to a normal level to help her have a settled night.