26 Jan 2012 3 Comments
According to a study from Boston University, published in the Journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, reading to young children stimulates their development and gives them a head start when they reach school by promoting later literacy.
Apart from helping their reading, sharing a bedtime story with a child promotes motor skills, through learning to turn the pages, and stimulates memory. It also improves their emotional and social development.
“You can imagine if someone technologically came up with a widget that would stimulate all aspects of a two-year-old’s development, everyone would want to buy it,” said Professor Barry Zuckerman, of the department of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, who led the study.
Children who are read to from an earlier age have better language development and tend to have better language scores later in life. Getting children to grip the page with their thumb and forefinger improves motor skill development.
Most important, though, said Zuckerman, reading aloud is a period of shared attention and emotion between parent and child. This reinforces reading as a pleasurable activity.
Zuckerman stated, “Children ultimately learn to love books because they are sharing it with someone they love.”