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As parents, we have all seen those pint-sized board books with their thick pages and colorful illustrations. We love to cuddle up with our little ones and introduce them to new stories and concepts, but does reading make a difference in a child’s life?
The answer is undeniable. Yes! Researchers have looked at the way board books affect a child’s cognitive development, and the results of their studies will have you filling up a bookshelf in your child’s room ASAP.
When you read to your child, you open up a whole new world of imagination and education to them. We’re looking at six great parenting tips for reading to your little one and telling you all the great ways that board books nurture your child’s developing mind.
1. Teaches Communication Skills
Hearing you talk is beneficial for learning about words, vocal emotion, and sentences, but hearing two characters in a story talk back and forth in a story is also helpful in teaching your child communication skills.
A good parenting tip to remember is that while your baby is still young, they may be more interested in chewing their books than listening to you read them. During these stages, be sure to buy cloth or vinyl books that can stand up to the challenge during these first few months.
2. Bonding Experience With your Child
Not only does reading board books to your child help with learning and development, but it’s also a fun bonding experience.
There is nothing more rewarding than hearing your little one laugh or seeing their mind comprehend new things. Spending time together reading is an excellent opportunity to cuddle and talk. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the script of the book you are reading. Engage your little one. “What is this?” you might ask while pointing to an animal or object on the page.
Using different voices for the characters in the books is another great way to entertain your child while showing them that it’s fun to be creative.
3. Introduces New Concepts
One of our favorite parenting tips is to expose your child to different things during infancy. By this, we mean different people, races, and concepts.
Research shows that babies who read books that showcase named objects/people (“This is a Llama; his name is Stan!” or “This apple is red”) show specialized brain responses and conceptualize new situations better than children who read books with generic labels.
4. Babies Explore and Experiment
When your baby is firstborn, their two biggest loves are eating and sleeping. But as the months go by, your little one will begin to develop their own little personality and sense of curiosity.
Even if your child is only a few months old, board books allow them to explore and experiment with new things. Between four to six months of age, children learn how much fun their hands can be. They find joy in splashing the water during bath time or may delight in stroking your family pet (or pulling your hair.)
Many board books come with interactive pages (such as a page with a furry dog on it that your child can touch) that encourage them to enhance their movements and curiosity.
5. Board Books Can Boost Verbal Skills
When your child says their first word, it is a magical experience. And when they start saying little phrases, singing songs, and building sentence structure, it makes our parental hearts leap with joy.
One of our favorite parenting tips is to have a wide variety of books to read your little ones, from simple stories with few pages to longer books with rhymes and concepts.
Research suggests that reading a book to your child has a positive impact on a child’s linguistic development. This makes sense, since the more words they hear you say, the bigger their vocabulary will be when they first begin to talk.
The study goes on to say that the books you read to your child also help with conceptual development and pre-reading skills.
6. Encourages Cognitive Skills
Books are an excellent method for teaching children the basics. They may not understand everything you are saying, but eventually, they will begin to connect your words to the story.
For example, if you continually refer to a bluebird, and a bluebird appears on the page, your child will learn slowly learn that the animal on the page is called a bird and that its color is blue.
When you read to your child, you likely use different tones and follow punctuation. When you express different sounds and emotions as you read, you help support your child’s emotional development.
Don’t underestimate the power of re-reading books to your children. The more you do, the better they will be at recognizing pictures and understanding different words and sounds.
Reading also supports cognitive skills such as listening and memory by encouraging your child to engage with the story. They will answer questions, point, touch, and think about what they are hearing.
7. It’s Never Too Early to Start
One of the greatest things about reading to your children is that it’s never too early to start!
Reading to your child before bedtime is a classic parenting ritual for a reason. It gives you and your child a precious time together and nurtures their developing mind.
The earlier you begin reading and teaching your children, the sooner they will benefit from those wonderfully educational board books. We just learned about BabyLit, and we know you are going to love them too.
BabyLit introduces your child to classic literature in a fun and colorful board book form.
When I think of classic literature, I think of books that have stood the test of time. Ones that were first or best or broke boundaries and can be reinterpreted for the current generation.
Books that come to mind are The Odyssey, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Don Quixote, and Moby- Dick, among many others. And, it so happens these are just the types of classic literature BabyLit introduces to your babies and toddlers.
The introduction is often short and sweet and focuses on a particular aspect of the original story. Take The Odyssey, for example. Instead of going on Odysseus 384 page Journey, BabyLit focuses on the different types of monsters in his world.
The drawings are simple yet fit perfectly with the story. Each page allows your child to learn numbers, sounds, colors, and more.
As that wasn’t enough, each BabyLit book is made of a durable thick paper board that can survive anything your child can throw at it.
Are you ready to give the gift of reading?
The biggest parenting tip you can follow is that when it comes to reading to your little ones, it’s never too early to start. Board books do make a difference. These colorful books introduce your children to new concepts, encourages your child to explore, and boosts communication and cognitive skills.
Share the reading bug to someone you love by shopping BabyLit today!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.