Imagine this: Dinner and bath time are finished. Teeth are brushed. Your 2-year-old—all warm and clean-smelling, in footie jammies—toddles over with her favorite book in her hand. You settle into a comfy rocker with your little one on your lap to read a bedtime story. You know how rewarding it can be for you. But did you also know that reading aloud is also helping your child develop important skills that will stay with her for years to come?
- It helps toddlers acquire the skills they will need to learn to read in school, including knowledge about the alphabet, print, and the characteristics of written language.
- By the age of two, children who are read to display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers.
- It leads to higher reading achievement in elementary school and a greater enthusiasm for reading and learning.
- It aids in social-emotional development. Young children can learn how to identify and handle their emotions from watching characters in books.
- It gives kids the skills to become independent readers and transition from pre-readers to readers when they go to kindergarten.
So the next time you are tempted to skip story time, just remember these great skills that you’re helping your little one develop. And, take it from someone whose kids are too big to fit on her lap anymore, these will be the times that you’ll miss when they’re older.
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