It’s never too early to start reading to your children (or grandchildren!), and there is a lot of research to back it all up. Babies as young as four months show an increase in brain development and vocabulary, and pick up on visual cues just a little bit faster, and build connections between language and visual cues easier.
Singing songs and speaking to your child helps them to learn communication skills and identify emotions, but reading to them aloud gives them the tools to put it all together. Being familiar with books and how reading plays a part in our personal and professional lives sets them up to go farther in their academic studies…and gives them the opportunity to develop a healthy love for books!
Reading to your children allows for more bonding time. Sitting in dad’s arms, hearing the emotion in his voice, and being stimulated by the bright colors on the page are all things that baby loves. With consistency, baby will become more and more familiar with a parent’s voice as he learns to recognize speech patterns and rhythms.
It also introduces the concept of emotion. When you’re reading to an infant, express the feelings of the characters in exaggerated tones. Babies will start to focus on the colors and characters, and quickly realize that they represent objects and emotions in the real world. This flexes baby’s imagination and helps their memory!
Baby will begin to process the stories with repetition, and one study suggests that understanding and processing stories read to them can actually increase baby’s I.Q.!
Choose a time of day that works for you and your child. When baby is more inclined to snuggle up and sit still, pull out a colorful book and read to them aloud!