Bedtime stories not only help kids relax and fall asleep more easily, they also create an emotional bond between the storyteller and the listener, and now we know another benefit, boosting children’s brain development.
Researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD] find there is a clear indication of a neurological difference between kids who have been read to regularly and kids who have not.
Neural research conducted at NICHD found that images taken of the brains of children considered to be poor readers show little activity in the verbal-processing areas whereas the brains of good readers show the opposite.
The deficiencies do not have to be permanent, NICHD researchers found that after they 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.
Experts agree kids are never too young or too old to be read to, and recommend parents continue reading aloud even into their children’s teenage years.
Choose books slightly above your teens’ reading level, to expose them to new words to add to their vocabulary.