It’s no secret that reading to your child starting at a very young age is a good thing to do. Storytime is an excellent way to bond, it’ll boost her vocabulary, plus, who doesn’t want to raise a book-lover? But the benefits of reading to your kids actually go far beyond what you might think. Here are three more ways storytime will benefit your girl as she gets ready to start school.
1. Stretch Her Attention Span
Little ones are often all over the place—wanting to color one minute and then deciding on a dime to play pretend kitchen instead! But the ability to sit quietly, to pay attention to new information or directions, and to listen to her teacher will serve your daughter well as she enters a classroom environment. “As your girl gets closer to school-age, try reading slightly longer books together,” says Girl Scouts’ Developmental Psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald. “Keeping her engaged in a story that takes a little longer to read will develop her patience and focus, both of which will come in handy as a new student.”
2. Boost Her Emotional Intelligence
When your child starts school, she’ll meet all kinds of new people with diverse personalities, interests, backgrounds and experiences. One way you can help prepare her to thrive is to read books with her that focus on making new friends, sharing, and working together as a group. “Discussing characters’ actions and emotions as you go through stories together will give your girl a window into the experiences and perspectives of others, and help her see differences as positive and exciting,” says Dr. Bastiani Archibald. “Additionally, it will give you a chance to help her identify and discuss feelings that she might not have previously had the language to express. All of this will help her form healthy and productive friendships with her new classmates.”
3. Flex Her Imagination
Most children’s books have plenty of drawings or photographs to look at while you read, but unless you’re watching a full-on video of a story, your daughter will have to use her imagination to picture every event and action as they play out. “This kind of abstract thought process will help with what we like to call ‘possibility thinking,’ which is an expansive specific kind of problem-solving,” says Dr. Bastiani Archibald. “Kindergarten is a wonderful time for her creativity to grow and shine, and giving her a head start in that direction is always a good thing!"