How to Stimulate Brain Development of Your Child by Reading Together?
Parents and other caregivers can foster a child's healthy brain development and enhance a child's learning. How?
Reading together with your child can stimulate brain development to enhance child's learning in school.
Scientific research shows that parents can boost their child’s brain development by talking, singing and reading to their children from a young age. There is strong scientific evidence that if parents of young children sing, tell stories, talk and laugh with their children from birth, they will lay firm foundations for future reading, writing, emotional and social skills.
Childhood is all about learning. The development of the brain and the learning connections within the brain are at the heart of learning for young children.
Teaching children to read from very early age helps them learn faster in later years and frees them from the potential burden of learning to read in school. Parents are first teacher for thier infant or toddler and they can help their child develop skills needed to learn better in school.
While a baby's brain has the potential to learn just about anything, parents have an important role to play in determining just how much – and how easily – their baby learns. Parents can help their babies and pre-schools learn to read from the very early age. This article offers practical tips which can help help your baby or toddler develop the reading skills in later years.
The period from birth to age eight – and especially, from birth to age three – is a critical time in baby brain development. This is because the first years of life lay the neurological foundation for intellectual growth into adolescence and adulthood.
We make brain connections with every experience we encounter during childhood. Connections are important. The more networks of connections we have, the more ways we have to process information. When you read a story to your child or have a conversation with her, her brain makes connections for language and relationships. When they read the same story over and over again, connections in the brain become stronger. Every time children hear the same story, they learn something new.
From the moment of conception, the neurons (nerve cells) of the brain multiply faster than any other cells in a baby’s body. The rapid pace of baby brain development continues into early childhood: at birth, the brain weighs 25 percent of its adult weight; by age one, 50 percent; by age two, 75 percent; and by age three, 90 percent.
Encouraging your child’s reading may be more important than you realise - whether it’s story books, magazines, comics or instruction manuals, the written word is everywhere. Help them to enjoy learning about language with these top tips on when, where, and how to get into reading.
Parents should provide lots of time and opportunities for practice and repetition. Few things build a child's brain and open opportunities for learning more than consistent repetition of healthy activities or experiences. Telling the same stories and singing the same songs over and over may feel boring to you, but it is not boring to children.
Children learn through repetition. Repetition of an experience tends to set neural connections. For example, the pathways in the brain dealing with emotions are built and strengthened when parents respond day after day to a newborn's smiles by smiling back or picking up the child.
Have you ever noticed that children, especially young children, like to repeat certain routines?
A toddler may ask you to read a particular book over and over and over again.
It is because a young child's brain is "wired" to encourage repetition of sounds, patterns or experiences that provide security, and thus develop strong neural pathways in the brain that become the highways of learning. Such repetition is good for your children and a practical, easy approach to helping your child's growth and learning.
Children whose parents have read to them for 10 minutes a day from age 6 months on have a brain that has received more than 300 hours of this type of stimulation by kindergarten. Read stories or show pictures to your young children over and over and over again.
Practical techniques to boost child brain development are:
- Read together with your child. This includes the bedtime story but can also reading outdoor signs or cooking from a recipe. Make it interactive by asking your children questions about what you are reading together.
- Model reading and writing. Your example will encourage them by showing it is an activity that “big people” do. Join your local library – a great free resource in your community.
- Surround your child with different types of printed materials ideally at eye level eg magnetic letters on the fridge, posters.
- Play with words and language. Rhymes, rhythms, songs, nonsense, word play and madeup stories
Useful links and resources: