Giving young children a foundation for success: Reading to them at Bedtime
When we look back on our childhood, many of us have fond memories of being read to, of snuggling up and enjoying a favourite story with the people who love us. And it's not so much the story that we remember, but the feeling of love and security that it gave us.
It turns out that reading aloud, a time-honored tradition in so many families, is actually a wonderful way of helping children to reach their full potential
Reading aloud is a great way of engaging with young children.
What happens during the first few years sets the stage for the rest of a child's life. It is a time when a child's experiences irreversibly affect how the brain develops - for better or worse.
Nurturing from a loving parent or caregiver in the early years supports healthy brain development that forms the foundation for success later at school and in life - and one of the best ways of engaging with young children is through looking at books together. Even the youngest baby loves to be held close and hear the voice of Mom or Dad as they read a book aloud.
Reading aloud promotes language development and early literacy skills
It is widely accepted that reading aloud is the single most important researched activity leading to language development and promotes early literacy skills, such as:
Book handling and naming
Understanding how stories work
Recognition of sounds and letters
Knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary
Ability to listen
Even young babies can benefit from read aloud practices!
All of these skills are essential as children start school and learn to read.
Builds motivation, curiosity and memory
Helps children cope during times of stress or anxiety
Take children to places and times they have never been - enlarging and enhancing their worlds
Creates a positive association with books and reading
Despite all of the benefits of reading aloud, surveys show that only a half of parents read to their young children daily and less than 10 percent read to their children from infancy. Families living in poverty are significantly less likely to read aloud to their infants and toddlers.
This is where The Read Aloud Project comes in!
At The Read Aloud Project, we believe that ALL families should have the tools and information needed to make reading aloud a daily routine, that ALL children should be given a foundation for success at school and beyond.