How Reading to Young Children Helps With Their Development
Regularly reading stories to your child is like exposing him/her to several emotional and delightful experiences. In each story, your child’s thinking and imagination is being stimulated while also his/her language abilities are being developed. This has a huge impact on your child’s overall cognitive development.
Reading stories and brain development
Stories allow children to hear different words and sounds and because of the narration (as well as how you creatively and engagingly tell the story), they’re able to make sense of what’s happening in the story and what the characters are going through. Children are able to develop and practice their empathy as well as gain an understanding of the consequences of certain actions.
In addition, stories also help develop a child’s level of focus. Stories require some concentration for them to make sense. Although short stories for children are still simple and straightforward, it still requires putting together events and emotions. Children have to focus to get through that and finally understand the conclusion of the story.
Stories also help children realise that there are “other worlds” and cultures out there. It’s a great way of exposing children to other practices in a comfortable and safe environment (the bedroom or in the early learning centre). For example, our educators here at Teddy Bear Early Learning Centre read books two to three times a day to toddlers. Aside from being a fun and engaging activity, this also helps them develop the children’s language and cognition skills. Children are also able to appreciate different cultures, learn about different behaviours and somehow feel strong emotions in each story.
Literacy and numeracy along with a conventional classroom setting are still important in learning. But with stories, the lessons get better remembered (it’s like we’re all built to better remember facts through storytelling). Also, it’s through stories and experiences (as told in stories or as our children grow and develop) that we make sense of the world around us. After all, whenever children listen to a story, they actually feel and experience the events and emotions. This is vital to their overall development especially in their early years.