Science Proves Reading With Kids Affects Brain Development

By Dawn D. Perry, M.A.
Manager, Family Child Care Quality Network
Children’s Council of San Francisco

When my children were young, I didn’t realize how important those bedtime cuddles with storybooks about Green Eggs & Ham and “Wild Things” really were. As more research about brain development has been shared, it is clear that reading with young children has a significant impact on their language and literacy development.

Reading with children, including young infants, results in increased vocabularies, enhanced communication skills and better social skills. Children who are read to regularly become better readers themselves and are more successful in school.

Here at Children’s Council, we support families and child care providers in so many ways, but one important resource is our Lending Library, which offers books and toys for children of all ages. Any child or family who visits us at Children’s Council receives a free book to keep! Learn more about our Lending Library and other community resources for parents.

father son readingI recently came across this terrific article on the Huffington Post about this fascinating topic. Dr. Thomas DeWitt, director of the division of general and community pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital states, “This is a small and very early study, but the exciting thing it was able to demonstrate is that early reading does have an impact on the parts of the brain that are fundamental for developing literacy early on.”

Reading with young children should be fun for both you and your child, even if it is the hundredth time of Goodnight Moon! Here are some of my personal suggestions:

Infants and Toddlers


Most importantly, enjoy this special time with your child! Set aside at least 10–15 minutes of reading time together each day. Your child will see that you value books and reading.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with my one- and four-year-old grandsons and A Little Engine that Could.

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