Though it is often said that reading to babies is beneficial for their development, it’s not always obvious exactly how. While infants are still too young to vocalise their enjoyment or displeasure, the signs that they’re absorbing information are more subtle, if visible at all! But rest assured, every part of the reading process is feeding their growing brains with information and stimulating the formation of new pathways and synapses. Read on to find out how reading helps development and feel safe in the knowledge that each time you read to your little one, big things are happening!
- Expanding Vocabulary
Babies learn by exposure, and the richer the stimuli, the more they can understand about the world around them. Books tend to contain words that we don’t use very often in daily life, which helps babies and young children expand their vocabularies at a faster rate than through conversation!
- Enhanced Concentration
Reading time is a rare moment of focused concentration for babies in which the usual distractions, such as screens, chores, and to-do lists, take a backseat for a short period. This time helps your baby to strengthen their concentration, as they will see your single-minded focus and follow suit! This may not happen immediately, as concentration on a single activity can be taxing for young minds, but if you start with a short reading time and start to lengthen it by a little bit each session, you’ll soon find that they clamour for more!
- Pattern Recognition
Have you ever wondered why children’s books have so many rhymes? It’s not only for fun, the rhymes help babies to understand rhythms in speech patterns and encourages them to start recognising similar sounds! This helps not only with language development but also with their understanding of the world around them, and how to spot patterns in other places, too!
- Making Connections
Books written for children tend to contain lots of exciting pictures and colours, and these aren’t only to hold their concentration! As children hear and see the words on the page they begin to connect these with the images they see, which promotes the connection between language and physical reality. When reading to babies, make sure you choose books with plenty of visual aids, such as our Matchstick Monkey Book, which helps to teach infants all about colours!
- Good Habits for Life
Reading is good for you not only in childhood, but throughout your life! Reading has been shown to enrich your vocabulary, develop empathy, and promote creative thinking through adulthood, so getting into the habit as young as possible helps to make positive associations with reading for a lifetime!
Now that you know the advantages of reading to infants, you can begin your reading journey safe in the knowledge that you’re giving your child the best possible tools to expand their little minds and develop the all-important skills they will need throughout their lives!