Christine French Cully: Hello! I am Christine French Cully; Editor in Chief of Highlights for Children. I am here today to talk to you about why you should read your baby?
Reading aloud really is one of the best gifts you can give your baby. Its fun, free and among the most effective ways to set your child firmly on the path to literacy.
Reading aloud helps your baby learn new words, understand the difference between spoken and written language and explore his larger world. In fact reading to babies is so vitally important that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently began urging parents to read to their newborns.
At first, your baby may not understand the words you say, but soon he will anticipate and appreciate the tone of your voice as you read with animation. He also will begin to associate reading with learning, delight and comfort. Hell love that close physical contact with you which boosts the development of a secure, emotional attachment. He will look forward to your snuggle up reading time as your special time together. Hearing words helps to build a rich network of words in a babys brain, its pretty amazing but it's true.
By the time babies reach their first birthday, they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk.
When you read, your baby hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds which fosters social and emotional development. Reading also invites your baby to look, point, and touch all of which promotes social development and thinking skills and your baby improves language skills by imitating sounds, recognizing pictures and learning the words.
But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby really loves, your voice and being close to you and if you read to your baby with joy and excitement he will begin to associate reading with happiness and this will serve him all his life.