As moms, we want our children to develop skills that will help them thrive as individuals. We scour Pinterest for ideas on how to keep our babies entertained and what activities are best for their age range developmentally. It doesn’t take long for us to realize that books catch our infant’s attention! It is scientifically proven that reading stories to infants helps develop both social and language skills. The combination of colorful pictures on the pages and the sweet sound of your voice as you read to them makes stories for infants an enjoyable and crucial learning activity.
Here are some reasons reading and telling stories to your infant are beneficial:
Reading to your baby helps stimulate their imagination and inspires them to be creative. When adults long to be children again, it’s because they miss the ease and magic of creating make-believe games. Kids love to play, but using their imagination is something we as parents must teach and encourage. Reading to them helps teach them how stories are put together – showing them how characters interact with one another and how things take place in chronological order. It may spark an interest in creating their own stories. When they look through a book, they watch characters in the books move around and go about their days. Don’t be afraid to make up your own bedtime stories for your children, and as they grow older, encourage them to make up stories of their own.
Hearing your voice as you narrate the story boosts your baby’s language skills. If you read to her consistently, she will soon begin to babble as you read, trying to make the same sounds as you. Point to the pictures and name objects aloud. It will help him recognize objects and literally put names to things. Pause often and let your baby get in on the narration.
Stories teach infants and kids about differing personalities. Many books showcase different kinds of people. People who are patient and kind vs. people who are impatient and rude. People who are clean and productive and people who are messy and lazy. In this way, it gives them a chance to understand cause and effect, revealing what types of attitudes and actions result in productive and happy lifestyles. It prepares them for the different kinds of people they will encounter throughout their lives and helps shape them as people.
Stories prepare infants for life-changes and teaches them important lessons. Many parents choose to use books to prepare their infants for big changes ahead such as a new sibling or moving. Reading these stories helps them adjust to the process of welcoming a new family member or changing locations quickly and easily. Some parents use stories to encourage their kids to make a decision such as giving up their pacifier or potty training. Seeing it take place from beginning to end successfully in a book encourages them to be cooperative and accept the change.
Life is made up of stories. Each of our stories are unique and special, and the more we tell our infants stories, the better they will understand life. As they read, they train their minds to learn about what they see and hear and will teach them to talk about what they learn. It may even inspire them to tell their life stories to their own children one day.