It is not news that reading to children is one of the best things we can do every night. It is the opportunity to share some time in peace with the children, help them to calm down and lower their revs before going to sleep, stimulate their imagination, develop their creativity.
What happens in children's brains if we read them stories? A study carried out in the United States explains the benefits it has for the cognitive development of children.
A recent study from the Children's Hospital of Cincinnati, United States, goes one step further, and explains that proper reading is a true dose of quality for the development of children's brains. This study is one of those that argue that a participatory form of reading increases the cognitive benefits of reading.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics for years has recommended beginning to read to children from a very young age. Although they are still babies and cannot fully understand the content of a story, the mere act of listening helps them to begin to know how human communication works and is an experience of bonding with parents or adult caregivers,
In the aforementioned Cincinnati Hospital study, researchers performed MRI scans on children while their mothers read to them. In those cases where mothers involved children in reading, a greater amount of brain activity was generated, especially in areas related to language.
How is this type of participatory reading? One where there is not only a single one-way street, but children are prevented from being passive listeners. It's about involving them in the process. From something simple like letting them turn the pages to asking them questions related to the story: How do you think this character feels? What would you have done instead? What would a different ending look like for this story?
Dr. John Hutton, who participated in the study proposes that parents interact as they read to make that moment more important to their development, especially in preschool age. And of course he recommends avoiding distractions at that time like cell phones, food, etc. so that it really is a moment of encounter, without barriers, enjoyable for both.
Do you know what you are going to read tonight?
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