March 2nd is Read Across America Day, a national holiday recognized by schools across the country. It’s celebrated on the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who will forever be one of this nation’s most beloved authors. More commonly known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss crafted brilliant children’s books that inspired laughter, reflection, and a lot of learning. Read Across America Day is an opportunity for teachers, students, and parents to focus on the importance of reading. Fostering an early love and appreciation for reading holds incredible benefits for toddlers, both in early cognitive development and also later on in life.
Develops a Stronger Bond
From the moment they master walking, toddlers are always on the move. Whether they’re running around the house, playing outside, or having fun at school, it quickly becomes a challenge to slow them down. Reading a book together at the end of the day allows the two of you to recapture the slow-paced snuggle time that you enjoyed when your little one was just a baby.
The connection between storyteller and listener is an intimate one that goes back to our most primitive time. Sharing a bedtime story with your child helps your already strong bond blossom into an even deeper one, and it can be a wonderful way to connect to your burgeoning toddler.
In addition, reading a bedtime story together with your little one can also help prepare them for a restful sleep. It’s a time of stillness and calmness that allows their mind to slow and signals to their body that it’s time for rest. It provides a tranquil transition period to sleep, giving them time away from the stimulation of TV, video games, or physical activity right before bed.
Excellence in Academics
Many studies have shown that students who were exposed to reading before preschool were more likely to excel in all facets of formal education, from language and reading comprehension to even math and sciences. This is because early exposure to reading helps develop a child’s understanding of language and how words function together. Early mastery of language improves reasoning and logical thinking ability. A toddler that is read to will have a preliminary understanding of how words sound. They can then begin to attach meaning to some words by hearing the sound and associating it with pictures. Plus, they will benefit from improved concentration. Thus, reading can actually help make your child smarter.
Making reading a part of your child’s daily life, even outside of school, can help them develop better communication skills. Exposure to language and proper enunciation will allow them to express themselves more accurately and coherently. Aside from the basic grasping of their native language, stories also allow your toddler to communicate on a deeper level. They inspire imagination, thoughtfulness, and reflection.
Your little one can hear or read a story, and then put themselves in the place of the characters. How would they feel? How would they react? By relating to fictional characters, toddlers can develop a greater sense of empathy with those outside of themselves. Not only does this mean they will possess more meaningful or critical thinking patterns, they will also be more compassionate humans.
Reading Becomes Fun
Reading and literacy are necessary components of our daily lives. How far you go in life is directly correlated with how well you can read. All throughout our schooling, reading comprehension and accurate articulation are absolutely essential. Thus, fostering an early love of reading will better serve your child all throughout their lifetime. The more enjoyable an experience that reading becomes, the more your little one will associate it with something fun and exciting. If they view reading as a pleasure activity, rather than a chore, they’ll be more apt to do it and their comprehension of higher reading levels will flourish naturally.
Enjoy Read Across America Day!
The importance of reading and literacy simply cannot be overstated. Your child is sure to celebrate Read Across America Day in school. As a parent, you can ensure that the celebration follows them home. By making reading an integral part of your little one’s life, you can significantly boost not only their cognitive intelligence but also their emotional capacity.
Located on the border of Aberdeen and Holmdel, NJ, Home Away From Home Academy was established to promote the growth of children during their earliest and most formative years of their social, intellectual, and physical development. Enrollment in our programs is now open. If you’re interested or have more questions, feel free to reach out to us.