Is there any time during the day that is more precious than when your little one cuddles up nice and close as you read a story? This is one of the greatest joys of parenting. It’s also one of the greatest educational gifts you can give your child. Child development specialist Sheryl Rogers, who administers Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee, has identified five specific benefits for kids when their parents open a book — from “Love You Forever” to “Green Eggs and Ham” — and start reading.
1. School preparation
Reading aloud is the easiest and most effective way to prepare a child for school. You are stimulating language and literacy skills, as well as building motivation, curiosity and memory.
2. Vocabulary development
About 80 percent of a child’s brain develops before age five. Kids are sponges when they are little. Books build their vocabulary and give them a mastery of language.
3. Education advancement
No matter who you are and how much you earn, multiple research studies show that the more age-appropriate books in a child’s home, the more schooling that youngster will finish.
4. Reading to children builds family relationships
Ever want a child to settle down? Break out a book and start reading aloud. Your child will learn self-discipline while enjoying a special time with you.
5. Stress management
Stories are a great way to help children transition from one milestone to another (such as starting school or moving), as well as handling stressful situations (such as losing a pet or gaining a new sibling). There are relevant children’s books for almost every situation, and they can really help explain things to children on their level.
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