You can start today or even from your child’s birth. Although newborns might not yet fully understand the story, this will still help with their brain development. That’s because the roots of their language skills will start to grow. More importantly, reading and storytelling are amazing ways to bond with the baby.
When it comes to your child’s brain development, reading to your baby will help stimulate his/her imagination. Reading and storytelling will also make your child familiar with a variety of words and sounds. Early on your child will expand his/her range of thoughts, which is a slow and gradual process that will benefit your child in years to come.
It’s like giving your child a jumpstart. However, this doesn’t guarantee that your child will develop rapidly or achieve those developmental milestones much earlier than other kids. What’s certain is that you’re helping the best way you can in giving your child an early advantage. Whether it’s about building and expanding your child’s vocabulary or helping your child better make sense of the world, this early advantage is vital in your baby’s rapid cognitive development.
Early familiarity with a variety of words and sounds can also help your child gain a jumpstart in his/her communication and social skills. After a few weeks or months, your child will be already uttering the words you pronounced during story time. Soon enough your child will use many of those words to express an idea or tell a story by himself/herself. With that “reserve” of words, your child can better communicate which can then help in his/her social skills (e.g. your child is better equipped to talk and listen).
Reading to your baby is important to his/her early development. But how do you make the most out of reading time and how to make it more fun?
One way is to have a dedicated quiet space for reading time. Silence is important because your child can better listen to the story and he/she can better focus on your voice. This means the phones must be on silent and that the TV and music are turned off.
Another way is to actually enjoy the reading time. Your energy and enthusiasm will positively affect your baby and as a result the stories will be much more fun and engaging. However, this is a challenge if you had an exhausting and stressful day (and being sleep deprived most nights). That’s why right before the reading time, it’s good to take a few deep breaths and fill yourself with energy and enthusiasm. This way, both you and your baby will always look forward to those stories and the bonding.
It’s always good to make it a fun and relaxing experience. After all, through stories we don’t actually try to escape life. Rather, we’re actually trying to experience life by immersing ourselves in new worlds but with universal experiences and emotions. It works the same way with our children where they get to experience more of life while also helping them with their rapid development.