The Effects of Storytelling on the Development of Brain Networks in Toddlers a.k.a Reading Makes you Smarter

Posted on 06 April 2017

Parents devoted to reading books to their kids can help them develop better academic performance and improved behavior early in life. Studies show that there are visible differences in the brains of children who listen to stories.
Researchers assessed the brains of children with ages between 3 and 5. After performing a series of brain scans, they reached the conclusion that listening to stories stimulates brain activity.
Effects of storytelling on development of brain networks in toddlers

The Positive Effects of Reading to Kids

When children are being told stories, several regions on the left side of the brain become active and engaged. The left side deals with understanding concepts and the meaning of words and phrases. The exact same thing happens when kids read or listen to stories.
As a parent, you might want to instill a love for reading at a very young age. Sadly, we live in the era of advanced technology where even the youngest of toddlers know how to operate a smartphone.
But there’s no reason to panic. Done right, you have the high chances of helping your children develop an interest in reading.

Create a Literacy-Friendly Environment at Home 

A literacy-friendly home makes kids curious to about books. But for them to become interested, it’s very important that parents read, too. The more time you spend reading aloud to your kids, the more chances there are for them to connect to the characters and the plot, and eventually become interested in reading by themselves.
Start by decorating your home with books for kids. Place them on their nightstand, and keep an open-shelf bookcase in the living room, as well. When they’re young, kids are drawn by colorful book covers; to them, the cover is fundamental. Make time to read to them daily; a 30-minute story before bedtime is enough to activate the neurons in the left side of the brain and to compel them to react.

Make reading seasons visual

Kids who are exposed to books from a very young age do better in school as they grow older. Their vocabulary will be more diverse, and they’ll be able to concentrate and pay better attention to lessons taught in class. As a parent, it’s important to make reading sessions are visual as possible. Describe the plot with as many adjectives as possible, so that the child can visualize the setting. This will help them develop a photographic memory.

Improved concentration

Apart from having a better vocabulary and higher literacy, through reading, your child will concentrate better in school, and will also pay better attention to what professors say. Kids nowadays are distracted by advanced technology. Many would rather watch a movie or play a video game than read. But this doesn’t mean you can encourage them to choose a book over a tablet.
Do both. Now you can even read them books on tablets; these devices are called e-readers. The books are in PDF form and they feature photographs and all kinds of visual enhancements to help a child develop a love for reading. Exploring books, regardless of their form is important.

Book reading might prevent or manage dyslexia

Dyslexia is a relatively common condition among kids. Many grow up without the ability to read out loud. They can do it inside their heads, but they stutter when speaking. The sooner you start reading books with your kids, the better chances you have to prevent such condition from materializing.
Also, unlike e-books and e-reading, paperback books are healthier. Protecting your child’s eyes is important, and computer screens may interfere with their eyesight. The human brain develops really fast between the ages of zero and 5. If you don’t read to your children at a young age, it may be too late to convince them to read later in life.
Many studies are still being performed on the effects reading has on the brain. However, right now most researchers agree that the benefits are unquestionable. For the brain to like reading, it must be induced this activity step by step. But then again try not to force books to read to your kids, or listen to you read to them aloud.

Author Bio 

Fredrick Cameron is the writer of this article. He is a regular contributor on many sites and mainly focuses on books and education-related topics. You can also find him on Google+ and Twitter.

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