It is said that a child’s vocabulary expands rapidly between the age of two and six. Beginning with about 200 words at age two, it increases exponentially to about 14,000 words by the time the child is six! But it’ far from done! In the next few years, she will be adding on more words, faster than ever, learning as many as twenty new words per day!
Babies’ brains are like sponges. They’re constantly listening and absorbing what you say. In fact, new research suggests that babies begin to absorb language right from the time they’re inside the womb – during the last trimester. Apart from recognizing the mother’s voice, they’re simultaneously learning too! So, if you ever thought that reading to your baby when still in the womb was a pointless activity, it’s time to break away from that notion.
Why it’s important to read to your baby?
We all know that reading aloud is one of the best ways to improve baby’s speech and language skills. But this apart, there are several other advantages which both, you and your baby can benefit along the way.
To a list a few:
Reading time is bonding time: Reading is a one-on-one activity that can do wonders to nurture the bond between you and the baby. Reading also calms and soothes the baby as she listens to your voice.
Primer to self-reading: Even though your new born doesn’t understand what you’re reading, the rhythmic tone and sound of your voice will naturally instill interest towards books – inculcating early reading habits in her.
Expands vocabulary: There’s no doubt about this. Reading to your baby is one of the best ways to build and improve her vocabulary. The more you read, the more new words she is exposed to and the better she will be able to talk.
Imagination power: Reading plays a significant role in stimulating a child’s creativity and imagination. When you first introduce your baby to books, pick up picture books that are bright, colourful and interactive. As your child listens to you and sees the pictures in the books, she develops her imagination and literacy skills.
Boosts memory: Reading improves grasping power and sharpens your baby’s memory. Studies show that children who were read to as newborns have better cognitive skills than other kids of their age.
Improves listening skills: Even though your baby can’t understand what you’re reading, she is listening and unconsciously absorbingl. This eventually helps improve her attention span as also develop her communication skills.
Introduces emotion: When the child listens to you reading, it is being introduced to different emotions and expressive sounds from you. This helps build social and emotional development. Reading also encourages your baby to look, point and touch — all of which promote social development and thinking skills.