How is your child’s development affected by reading?
Books and stories are often the first doors to exploring new worlds for children. Books can transform young readers into bold adventurers, whisking them off to magical places and opening their eyes to the realms of unlimited possibilities. There are many reasons why inspiring a love of reading should be one of your priorities as a parent but reading for kids also comes with a whole host of positive effects on your child’s cognitive development. Below are some of the benefits and positive effects of reading on child development.
Reading Develops a Strong Parent-Child Bond
The opportunity to spend time with parents or grandparents is only one of the many benefits of reading for children. In a world increasingly dominated by gadgets and demanding schedules, allocating some part of your schedule to reading with your child is a great way to be involved in their early development. Spending time together, engaging in activities you both can enjoy, will have a lasting positive impact on your child’s life and their emotional and social growth as well.
Healthy Brain Development and Learning
The first three years of your child’s life are particularly crucial to their development. At this age, your child’s brain is working like a sponge and indiscriminately absorbing all kinds of information — from how to sound out words to what it means when a person smiles.
Reading aloud to your children can help expand their vocabularies by exposing them to words that don’t often come up in normal conversation. Besides teaching them that different symbols have different sounds, you will also be introducing them to the concepts of meaning and context.
Reading can also be an effective method for teaching your kids how to concentrate. A good page-turning mystery book series like The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West has plots that will keep your child riveted and occupied, which helps them practice focus and discipline — both important skills they will need for success in school and later life.
A Stimulated Imagination
Books can also expose your children to their potential future interests and inspire a healthy curiosity about the outside world. Studies show that reading stimulates the right side of the brain, responsible for problem solving and memory. Stories are the best tools you can provide from early childhood, spending time to help your child explore new possibilities and visualize more complex concepts.
Emotional and Social Growth
Literature can have a positive impact on children by leading their first forays into emotions and situations they have yet to experience. Reading fiction can help teach your child’s social skills by exposing them to how fictional characters interact, communicate, and navigate difficult moral decisions. It develops a child’s creativity. Fiction is a safe way to teach your child empathy by showing them instances where characters are affected by the consequences of their actions.
Children’s books are especially effective teaching tools when their plots are chock-full of relatable situations and characters for your children to identify with. For instance, a good adventure or mystery series like The Happy Hollisters might help motivate your child to study by showing them that solving mysteries is something we are actively doing in our daily lives. Reading a mystery book can help improve young readers’ critical thinking skills by showing them how to analyze situations and react appropriately.
Despite the challenging and sometimes perilous situations described in a good page-turning plot, happy endings often portray characters learning their lessons, growing from their experiences, and moving on. Kids can learn from these examples and be inspired to push against adversity and make smarter problem-solving decisions in their own lives.
Effects of Reading on Child Development: Final Thoughts
There may be many technical benefits to reading that can ensure your child improves the skills they need to do well in school. However, reading just to memorize information or be faster at analysis can discourage your child from taking up the habit.
If you want to encourage your young readers, you can create variation in their activities by creating a diverse homeschool reading list or signing up for a book club membership. Including genres like fantasy, adventure, and even mystery can go a long way toward keeping them interested and fostering a love for literature. Visit TheHappyHollisters.com to learn more about options for building your homeschool library or joining The Happy Hollisters Book Club.
Remember —at the end of the day, reading should be fun!