Stretch-n-Grow Monthly Blog: Fueling Your Brain with Books

Fueling Your Brain with Books

When babies are born, their brains are sponges, and they soak up everything around them. One of the best ways to help them soak up positivity and develop well is to get them engaged through reading. From the very beginning of their lives, kids gain vocabulary, discover their creativity, and have the world expanded for them, and books play an important part in fueling their brains!

Did you know:

  • that by age one children understand 50 words or more?
  • that by age one children understand the relationship between words and the real word?
  • that as toddlers they can turn book pages themselves?
  • that as toddlers they will begin to pretend to read books as they learn the alphabet?
  • that at age 3 and older children can retell stories or create original ones?

And that’s all before they go to kindergarten!

Here are 3 great ways to encourage kids to read from an early life until they go to school:

  1. Read 3-6 books a day. According to a study from Ohio State University, children who are read 5 books a day are exposed to over 1 million words before they walk into kindergarten. Exposure to a variety of books on a daily basis will create that strong foundation for a love of books, or other worlds, and set them for success at school.
  2. Get them a library card ASAP, once they’re old enough to understand it. If a library is nearby, most libraries do not have an age requirement for getting a library card. Before they start kindergarten, it could become a special day including teaching them to sign their name for the back of their card (if the library still has physical library cards) and making it a special event when they go get their first one. Making their relationship with the library something they can take ownership of will make it exciting and teach them about their sense of self in the world. To really encourage a love of books, let them pick out their own special canvas bag to fill up every time you make a visit.
  3. Let them pick books for story time for the most part. While sometimes kids need a push to read a new book, or a parent may want to read a certain book to address something specific, allowing children to pick their books for story time, or when they are at the library, will help them develop their own taste, help them learn to make decisions, and give them a sense of autonomy over their world.

By reading books, we get to visits worlds and realities and expand our understanding of the universe. The younger those doors are opened for kids, the bigger their sense of adventure and self will be. What were your favorite books as a kid? What do you like to read to your kids? Let us know!

Picture of by Bethany Verrett
by Bethany Verrett

Bethany is a freelance writer and editor. Click on her name to find out more!

Click here to read some fun facts about healthy brain development!

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