Studies have revealed children who are read to often have better concentration, vocabulary, and grasping than those who are rarely read to. A child generally begins to develop a fascination with books at the early age of 6 months, exploring books by turning the pages. Between the ages of 1 and 3, pretend reading and independent exploring of books becomes the norm. By the age of 5, the child should be able to answer simple questions about short stories.
The American Academy of Pediatrics puts a lot of emphasis on reading aloud to children. The organization promotes learning and literacy for kids beginning in infancy, continuing through kindergarten. Reading aloud is believed to enhance relationships between parents and their children and help children prepare for developing their early literacy and language skills.
‘Million Word Gap’
A 2019 study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University revealed a 1.4-million word gap between children who are and aren’t read to. The ‘million word gap’ is believed to be one factor that determines the differences in reading and vocabulary development.
The researchers utilized data provided by the Columbus Metropolitan Library. The data identified the top 100 circulated picture and board books, targeting infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Only 60 books, a mixture of board and circulated, were selected for the study. The researchers determined that the picture books had an average of 228 words and the board books 140 words.
The study, published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, revealed reading one picture book aloud to a child daily would introduce about 78,000 words each year and about 1.4 million more words by the age of 5.
Lead author and a member of Ohio State’s Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, Jessica Logan said children who are read aloud to would be better prepared to be introduced to printed words when they enter kindergarten. She went on to say the kids read to may develop their reading skills more easily and quickly as well.
The researchers concluded that home-based book reading shared between children and their parents and/or caregivers is an important key for “closing the world gap.”
Check out picture and board books at Amazon.com.