Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Open Mic Wednesday - Why reading to kids at bedtime is important - an info wrap

Bedtime stories have long been known to foster parent-child bonds and prepare children for sleep. But lately researchers have attached other powers to this nighttime routine. They say that while you and your little one are sailing with Max to the land of the Wild Things or sampling green eggs with Sam, you're actually boosting your child's brain development.
"Neural research shows that when parents and caregivers interact verbally with children—which includes reading to them—kids learn a great deal more than we ever thought possible," says G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D., chief of the child development and behavior branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, MD. These gains range from improved logic skills to lower stress levels. But perhaps the most profound benefit discovered in recent years is the way bedtime stories can rewire children's brains to quicken their mastery of language.

"There's a clear indication of a neurological difference between kids who have been regularly read to and kids who have not," Dr. Lyon says. The good news is that these discrepancies don't have to be permanent. In NICHD studies under way at Yale University in New Haven, CT, and the University of Texas in Austin, researchers have found that electronic images of the brains of children considered poor readers show little activity in the verbal-processing areas. But after the researchers spent one to two hours a day for eight weeks reading to the poor readers and performing other literacy exercises with them, their brain activity had changed to look like that of the good readers. Jones

There are many benefits linked to reading to your child before 

It should become part of their daily routine, which we know is something kids thrive on, and can also become an indicator that it is almost time to go to bed - another great technique to trick them into bed without them even realising.
Reading to your child is also a special time to be close to your child and bond with them. A wonderful and magical moment for the two of you to spend together with no interruptions, a precious gem in this extremely busy and fast moving world we live in.

Bedtime stories help to bring out imagination in children, it helps with their thought processes, and it can also serve as a teaching tool for everyday life skills and scenarios that need to be learnt. Furthermore, they teach our children, in an engaging manner, how to achieve a positive outcome in life.
A more scientific approach shows that reading aloud can improve their speech and language skills, while increasing their spelling ability and memory too. Reading also encourages their logical thinking, a series of life skills we all need!

In addition, if your children are very young and just starting to read, bedtime stories can teach them primary colours, counting, shapes, and nursery rhymes in a fun, exciting, and age appropriate way.

Books are able to take children into a safe and enchanted world for a few minutes each day. This helps them de-stress from their daily pressures, as even children have to deal with daily stresses. This can be a relaxing and, believe it or not, a fun way for both child and adult to share stories with each other.For example, if you were to read a longer book with chapters, you could both move forward in the story, reading a chapter each, with the knowledge that there will always be more to come tomorrow. This technique teaches our little ones that not everything is immediate and that if you stay the distance then there will be an end in sight, once again, a very important life skill.

Nowadays, due to our current, fast paced way of living, we are always too focused on our handsets, tablets, and computers to even look up and read an old fashioned book. Since tablets and Kindles were invented, gone are the days of going to a local book shop to buy a book as a gift. Children don’t always want a tablet to play on, or to be distracted by. They actually like to look at books, they like the feel of them, and will get great excitement from choosing one off the shelf at bedtime, a simple action which leads to nice one - on - one time with their parents/family.
More importantly, if you can get your child into a story reading routine from a young age, they will be more likely to continue reading as adults. They will continue to enjoy the benefits of it, while enhancing their imagination, their thirst for knowledge, and escapism. Hartwell/Parenting Expert

Reading before bedtime is an age old tradition and one that must be kept alive.  It has so many benefits to both the reader and the child being read to.  It gives kids a headstart on the future.  Kids who are already fluent readers do something their snuggle bunny sibs can't: appreciate authors and illustrations that incite great insights and conversations.  If kids hear good writing often enough, it develops their ear to improve language and cultivates their imagination to blossom.  They can't help but replicate these wonderful assets into their daily schoolwork. 

These picture books will work well at bedtime for older kids:

"Say Something" by Peggy Moss:  
A girl learns that staying silent when a kid is being bullied is nearly as bad as being a bully herself. The illustrations are wonderful, depicting watercolours of diverse children.

"Melissa Parkington's Beautiful, Beautiful Hair by Pat Brisson:  Tired of being "the girl with the gorgeous hair," Melissa wants to be known for something important.

"Enemy Pie" by Derek Munson:  
Jeremy's dad teaches him how to outsmart his enemy. Make a pie!  Jeremy, the new kid in the neighbourhood finds out how to turn his first enemy into his best friend.

"Fly Away Home" by Eve Bunting: 
A boy and his dad live in an airport, moving between terminals to avoid being noticed.  After watching a trapped bird escape, the b dreams up a plan.  

I hope you enjoy the tips and books I planted today.  May they be useful to you.  Do you have a bedtime ritual reading books in your home?   What is your child's favourite bedtime story that you probably have to read over and over again?   Please share your story on Storywraps to encourage others.  Have a wonderful Wednesday and read on........

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Read on and read always!
It's a wrap.

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