Do you have a little book worm in your household?
Your child may not be able to even talk properly yet, let alone read, but we bet they have a big obsession with books, and make you read the SAME one over and over again!
Experts have now explained exactly why kids LOVE books so much.
The reason your toddler loves books so much
Maureen Healy, author of The Emotionally Healthy Child, tells Romper it’s important for kids to have books even if they can’t read.
“Young children, especially toddlers, are developing a habit of learning through books,” she tells the publication.
“They can become more familiar with colours, sounds, a sense of touch, and sight words.
“Yes, it is unusual to read before preschool, however I have met toddlers who can read sight words.
“The act of engaging with a book encourages children to continue to discover and explore their world, which is how most children learn.”
Books create bonding between parent and child
In fact, when you read to your toddler you are creating a bond with them and helping to develop their imagination.
“You’re creating lasting memories and connection with your children,” says Healy.
“The parent-child relationship is strengthened through authentic and meaningful interactions, such as reading stories (or telling one from your imagination).”
Pictures in books are very important for learning
Young children love to turn the pages and look at the bright pictures.
“Toddlers certainly want books that feel good, look interesting, have great images, and even sound or sensory stimulating things (peek-a-book, puppets, touch, or funny mirrors inside),” Healy adds.
“The more interactive a book for a toddler, the better. And if it’s a book about something of interest to them, whether it’s going to space or zoo animals, that’s the best.”
Reading to our kids helps boost their brain
Meanwhile, a study conducted by Reading & Literacy Discovery Center of Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital found through brain scans how reading boosts a child’s development.
Areas in the brain that organise language and literacy glowed red on the scans while kids were reading a book.
“This is important because the brain is developing the most rapidly in the first five years,” said lead author Dr. John Hutton, a paediatrician and clinical researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“Kids who have more stimulating experiences that organise the brain are at a huge advantage when they get to school. And it’s really harder and harder for kids to catch up if they arrive behind.”
However, screen time doesn’t help boost a child’s brain the same way as books.
“Children are born with more neurons than they’ll ever have in their life, essentially a blank slate,” adds Hutton.
“Depending on what type of stimulation the child has with caregivers — being talked to, being held, going outside, being read to — connections between these neurons are reinforced.”