Reading is a powerful and necessary tool in today’s society. As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, major developmental milestones are reached in the first three years of a child’s life. One of these milestones is the ability to understand language and literacy, and believe it or not, the earlier you start working toward that milestone, the better! Start incorporating books and language development into your daily routine, even if it is only for your child to learn to turn the pages.
According to many early childhood education professionals, frequently reading to your infant helps build a strong foundation for future learning. This is particularly important during the first three years of an infant’s life, so if you have a little one at home, here are a few excellent reasons to adopt reading into your daily routine.
Inspires Creativity and Imagination
Children are full of imagination and creative ideas. They’re able to immerse themselves in imaginative play and create their own world. By reading to your child, or teaching them to read on their own, you’re contributing to their ability to visualize characters and various scenarios in a fun and exciting way. It keeps them engaged and teaches them creative ways to think and use their imagination and fosters self-confidence and excitement.
Part of the importance of reading is language development. As your child continues to advance as a reader and enters school, they will come across books with more advanced vocabulary and context. By reading to them regularly and sparking an interest in books, you’re helping build their vocabulary. Dr. Mary Ann Abrams of Nationwide Children’s Hospital states that early literacy and language development “ is important for school success because eventually, they move from learning to read to reading to learn. At that point, if children struggle with reading, they’ll struggle with learning. This is also important for self-esteem, and building resilience to avoid drugs and resist peer pressure.”
Improves Focus and Concentration
Reading and language comprehension requires a certain level of focus and concentration. Introducing a regular reading routine will help them learn where to direct their energy and attention. According to Michigan State University Extension, when daily reading begins from birth, 30 minutes a day will prepare your child with over 900 hours of reading by the time they enter Kindergarten. So, when you keep your child interested in books at home, it will foster their concentration and help them stay engaged in a classroom setting.