Does Story reading for kids help in their brain development?
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
The world of the 21st century has tremendously changed in every aspect. But what has remained unchanged is the zeal for story reading for kids. Though the forms of storytelling or reading have changed, children still want to spend some time of their daily routine spellbound in their magical world of stories.
Centuries back, grandmothers used to plait the world of fascination for kids by telling them bedtime stories. They had a collection of beautiful stories allied to history, mythology, fiction, fairy-tale, folktales, legend, tall tale and many more.
Through these tales, children gained knowledge, moral values and rationality for conducting the right thing. Granny tales further encouraged kids to know more about this woven magical world, which led them straight to the world of books. And ultimately, for many kids on this earth, books became the best friends.
Story reading for kids is not just an activity but a necessity that enlightens your kids’ thinking capability. Nowadays, technology has taken a prominent place in the world of children. Many children spend their leisure time peeping into mobile screens or televisions. But despite this advancement, children enjoy reading or listening to stories and playing with toys. So, parents must encourage children to read more and more books.
Books – A world that belongs to you and your kid
You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books, and that’s kind of the same thing – Anonymous
A book is a doorway that takes you to the world of imagination and fascination the moment you start reading it. When you read a story for your kid, it enables him to knit beautiful characters, locations, colours and habitat in their head. They want to remain in this universe of imagination until they go to sleep.
When you read a bedtime story for your kid, they love to hear sounds that you make. They get excited to know more about the story when you make expressions similar to that of a character. The theme, the ups & downs, good & bad experiences that a story character goes through develops a child’s cognitive skills.
A child feels connected to a book when he sees the big and colourful pictures on the front. Colourful images attract him to know more about the content inside. If he or she cannot read, he’ll insist you read it for you. So, don’t refuse your child immediately, even if you are busy. Indulge yourself in the world of unseen happiness with your kid as it helps in filling more and more values in him.
That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feel – Jhumpa Lahiri
A book might just be an object, but it carries a flood of knowledge that adds to the child development. Story reading for your kids enhances your child’s literacy skills very soon.
They understand the real facet of books once they get a habit of reading them. Not only this, they start understanding the moral values from the story that parents read for them.
So, their imaginations begin to develop faster than those who don’t read or listen to bedtime stories. Besides this, reading storybooks stimulate curiosity, enhances concentration and refines communication skills considerably.
“Books may well be the only true magic.” – Alice Hoffman
Storybook makes children think beyond what is being taught in the classroom or by the parents. It makes children aware of the difference between what is real and what is not, which is the beginning of their analytical skills in them.
Small kids don’t understand the importance of books and the content inside them. Now, parents must sit with these little ones with the book and read them loudly. Through parents, they can connect well with the world inside it. By indulging in this fun activity, you can hold an important place in your child’s life.
For ages, storytelling has been a trend that children used to enjoy a lot during their summer vacations. However, the time has drastically changed and the so-called trend has taken over by gadgets and cartoon channels on the television.
According to a Times of India report, Dr Jaya Sukul lays stress on reinstating the bedtime story routine.
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift – Kate DeCamilio
There should be at least one tech-free hour from the twenty-four hours, which belongs to parents and children. It enhances bonding between the two, which ultimately make children feel secured.
Every child on earth needs the undivided attention of parents for at least an hour. Story reading for children is undoubtedly a source that enhances love and affection between parents and children.
In addition to this, Dr Sukul suggests parents read for their children right from the third trimester of the pregnancy. According to her, the foetus absorbs all the sounds and responses they hear.
Children under six years of age should listen to happy stories only. Read them as many stories as they want. If they like a particular book, read it again and again. However, for small children, it is necessary to pick good subjects with clear-cut moral lessons.
It might be possible that your child is not interested in listening to the story, so try attracting him towards pictures in the book. It will form a bond between him and the book.
The TOI report says that bedtime story bedtime stories contribute to the following
- Logical thinking
- Linguistic development
- Cognitive development
- It prevents nightmares.
Studies have also proven that story reading for kids is like therapy as it
- Builds a routine
- Calms the child and reduces aggression
- Improves memory and imagination
- Children develop a lifetime love for books
- Enhances concentration
Story Books for different age groups
At this age, your child might show interest in books. Of course, he won’t be able to read the story but will turn pages back and forth. He or she will keep on asking ‘what is this? and what is that?’ so, your job is to mollify their curiosity by answering the question asked by them.
You can read them books like
- The Going to Bed Book’ by Sandra Boynton
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Researches have proven that reading growth begins in children right from the age of three. Their brains start grasping a bit complicated things. So they can sit and hear long stories and begins to relate them to the real world. These children begin to interact more at this age, which encourages them to listen to stories and ask related questions.
Read them books like
- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
- Grumpy Monkey – Suzanne Lang
- If Animals Kissed Good Night – Ann Paul
Four-year-olds cannot read storybooks themselves, but they have a wide range of reading abilities since they are elementary school kids. As they understand alphabets and numbers to a great extent, a little help from parents would greatly enhance their interest in self-reading.
Thus, During bedtime, parents must read them stories like
- The Little House – by Virginia Lee Burton
- The Kissing Hand – Audrey Penn
- Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
As discussed above, literacy skills are not a one-day affair. It is a long term process that starts from the day a baby is in a womb. If we talk about a five-year-old, he is already in kindergarten. So, he must show some signs of interest in reading a book by himself.
At this age, your child is fully grown to understand the essence of stories. So, story reading for kids should be a routine. If a child doesn’t read books, then parents must do it for him.
They should detach kids from gadgets and start spending time reading storybooks with them. Your child is all set to read, so bring him simple storybooks or read them for him regularly.
- Panchtantra by Vishnu sharma
- The jungle book
A 5-year-old can enjoy books like Panchatantra and Jungle book. He or she can personify objects and can imagine animals interacting with humans.
Grown-up! Yes, your child is in first grade now. Isn’t it the right time to introduce her to the rich cultural aspects of your nation? We have a glorious past in context to religion and mythology.
So, why not give them colourful books like Mahabharata and Ramayana? It develops human values in children and at the same time enhances their belief in the almighty.
Bring them books like
- Mythology (Ramayana, Mahabharat, Krishna)
- Tales from the childhood – Ruskin bond
Advantages of reading good storybooks
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors – Charles Baudelaire
The whole crux of the essentiality of storybooks lies in this quote. How pleasantly the French poet has described the magnificence of story reading for kids. You open a book and lost in the world of beautiful thoughts, events and suspense.
Reading books aloud has many advantages that remain with your child for a lifetime. It expands their understanding and stimulates their imagination. With time, they get a good grasp of the language and vocabulary when you make it a regular practice for them.
Also, it contributes to memory enhancement, which helps achieve academic excellence. Researches have also proven that a child’s personality becomes different to that of other children of similar age when he or she develops a liking for reading. By reading even for an hour, a child feels inner peace.
They get engrossed in their sweet world of calmness and positivity of books. These children are least affected by the stress, violence and negativity around as they gain tranquillity through their small world of stories.
However, it is necessary to bring them good storybooks, which could help filling positivity in them. Thrillers and books with violent content can harm a child’s personality. We cannot just say that our children are tech-friendly, but they are tech-addict. They don’t need parents to play or share their leisure time.
They are simply happy being slaves of mobiles and television. So, to avoid this detachment of children from the family, some actions are necessary. It just gets a little effort in making them book addict, which is absolutely harmless in any aspect.
“Books and doors are the same things. You open them, and you go through into another world.” – Jeanette Winterson
When we say books are the best friends of man, it is true in every aspect of life. The positivity of books fills in the calmness and power of analyses in children. Storybooks encourage them to think beyond what is called sensibility.
While reading a story, they create a world of fascination around them that they want to remain attached for hours. For many children, books become their companion when they are alone while their parents are out for work. They can also spend their leisure time reading storybooks. However, parents must help children take an interest in reading.
They must ready bedtime story for kids as it would increase their bonding with kids. Story reading for kids is beneficial in every aspect as it helps in their mental expansion and personality transformation. It contributes to vocabulary expansion, improved communication and knowledge in children.
It is one best way to make your child move on a pathway of rationality and success. When he indulges in books, his or her brain starts preparing images of the environment he is looking through books. She becomes more imaginative, creative and prompt decision-maker.
Storytelling is a trend that has been an integral part of our lives for generations. When we were kids, we enjoyed listening to stories. However, the tech-friendly children of the modern world are a little deprived of this joy. Read stories to your kids as it will make them mentally sound, confident and wise enough to understand the complexities of the world.