The importance of reading aloud to children

The importance of reading aloud to children

Reading aloud to children is a pleasant practice, with positive implications for cognitive and emotional development. When to start? How to do?

The importance of reading aloud to children

Reading aloud to children: when to start?

Reading aloud to your children is a pleasant practice that brings great benefit to the listener, but also to the reader; it can (and should) begin when the child is very small; already in the very first months of life .

At six / eight months it is already possible to read him a short text aloud; at that age children are able to perceive the rhythm and tone of words , even if they do not yet grasp their meaning. In addition, they are very receptive and can follow the reading, even if for very short periods.

Reading aloud helps to calm the child , who recognizes the familiar voice; at the same time, however, the book acts as a stimulus in many respects. Babies of 6-8 months are already very attracted to colorful images; you can therefore start with very short nursery rhymes , to be read by holding it in your arms and choosing suitable books, that is, very colorful and perhaps made with special materials: fabric books, sound books, books with puppets inside … books with very short stories to listen to, books for to touch and play with, books to manipulate and – why not – to bring to the mouth, if the materials are the right ones.

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Obviously, then, as the child grows up, he will be able to propose longer nursery rhymes and then stories, from the most classic to the newest; children’s publishing is very rich in proposals. Older children will be able to choose books and create, with the guidance of a parent, their own small home library. Bookstores are a magical place for children (and not only) and the purchase of the book can be transformed into a moment of complicity between parents and children.

The books of fairy tales and nursery rhymes should ideally all be kept in a bookcase , at child’s height and, as soon as they are able to do so, the children themselves can come up with what they love to hear or want to leaf through.

reading aloud

Why read aloud to children?

Children who live in households where they usually read tend to have a richer language, learn to read more easily and usually have less difficulty when they go to school .

Reading aloud to their children helps them develop listening skills ; it is a training for the memory , a stimulus for creativity and curiosity , a training ground for understanding and concentration . But it’s not just cognitive development that benefits; when reading aloud an intimate moment is created between the child and the adult for the benefit of emotional development . Reading also trains emotions.

By reading aloud we encourage children to read as well, when they are able. Teaching your children to read means teaching them to understand reality better . The child capable of understanding a story will have the tools to better understand the world around him.

Reading aloud to children is a habit that can positively influence their life: it is a pleasure that is often worth indulging in.

How to read aloud to children: some ideas

Turn reading into a ritual , perhaps dedicating the same time of day to this activity, for example in the evening, after dinner, before going to bed. Ten minutes are enough; the reading time, however, varies a lot according to age; to find the right one, just follow the child’s wishes.

Indulge the tastes of children . The little ones love to hear the same story over and over again, that’s okay; if you want to propose a new one, wait for the right moment, the one in which the child will seem ready and curious to listen to a new adventure.

Avoid distractions (yours). The moment of reading aloud must be dedicated only to that; therefore no television or other disturbing elements.

Read with expression , changing tone and rhythm, trying, in the dialogues, to change voice according to the characters. If the child is very young, however, avoid the loud voices (for example the wolf’s voice), as it could scare you.

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