Reading to your child is important. Now there’s proof!

Good news for parents! We’ve all heard that you should read to your kids.  As a pediatrician and a mother, I have always recommended it.

Now there’s medical evidence that reading with your preschooler actually helps their brain to prepare for better reading skills later in life.

benefits of reading to your child

Dr. John Hutton studied 19 preschoolers aged 3-5 to look at the effects of parent child reading on their brains. He collected information about the amount of parent child reading in the home, then did a functional MRI on each child while they listened to an age appropriate audio book. The kids who had more parent child reading at home had increased brain activity in the areas of the brain responsible for extracting meaning from words and creating mental imagery.

In other words, reading to preschoolers stimulates their imagination. It helps children “see” the stories that are read to them, and helps them understand and enjoy what they are reading once they advance from picture books. These same areas of the brain that are stimulated by being read to are also important in developing oral language skills.

So now there’s proof!

Enjoy your reading time with your child from as early an age as possible. Hopefully they will develop a love of reading which is so important for success in school (and life)!

– Debra Berry, MD

About Debra Berry

Dr. Debra Berry is a board-certified pediatrician in Lone Tree, Colorado providing comprehensive pediatric care at Lone Tree Pediatrics. Her primary goal as a physician is to help each of her patients live a healthy life and grow into a happy productive adult.

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