Between TV, tablets and phones, there are a lot of virtual baby-sitters at parents finger tips. And when you've been working all day and still have to get dinner on the table, they sure come in handy. But Jason Boog makes the case for some good old fashion reading time in his new book, "Born Reading." In his book, Boog shares many ways reading has lifelong benefits for kids - even when they are just a couple months old. Here, we share just five reasons.
1. It helps with brain development.Boog started reading to his daughter Olive when she was a newborn mostly because there wasn't much else to do with her. Newborns, you know, don't do much. "Then I started interviewing different experts and they all said reading to an infant before he or she can talk is one of the most important things you can do as a parent," Boog says. "That interaction between human and child helps their brain develop, so holding a book, pointing to things and asking questions helps the developing brain.
2. Newborns understand more than you think.Since newborns are obviously hearing words for the first time, just listening to a parent read aloud is beneficial for them. They also can see and understand the difference between different colors. And Boog says even at six months, his daughter had a favorite book. "We kept reading this one book about a penguin over and over. One day when we were reading it, we got to the end of the book and she actually cheered and got excited. Even at six months she was grasping the tendrils of the story," he says.
3. Reading can be used as a teaching tool. In Boog's case, reading a "Frog and Toad" story together recently sparked a conversation about willpower with Olive, who is now almost 4-years-old. "After reading the book a few times and talking about it, she clearly understands what willpower means and can talk about it in concepts outside of the book. We talked about [not eating] candy [before] dinner and how willpower can help with that," he says. Another time he used books as a teaching tool: potty training. "That's another time when you're sitting for a long time and there's not much to do," he says.
4. It has lifelong effects on their vocabulary. Through his research, Boog found over and over again that children who read have much larger vocabularies than children who don't read. "It's a crucial advantage for kids as they enter school," he says.
5. It's never too late to start. Even if you haven't read to your child as a baby or toddler, you can still spark a love for reading in your son or daughter. Boog says one way to do so is by making your own love of reading apparent by having books and magazines in the apartment or even reading digital books in front of your kids. He also says it's important not to assign books for your kids to read - let them pick our their own reading material. "If all your son or daughter wants to read are comic books, that's fine. It doesn't matter; it's the reading that's important."
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