A recent study using brain scans has shown the effect of reading to children on brain activity.
The benefits of parents reading to children has long been known to benefit kids, encouraging better language skills, and love of reading. Experts encourage parents to have a regular story time, starting at birth, as the habit is good for the child’s development.
Now there is hard evidence that reading builds children’s brains, published in the journal Pediatrics.
“It’s often said that reading builds brains,” said study leader Dr. John Hutton, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “That seems obvious, but you want to show that it’s actually true.”
Hutton and his team measured real time brain activity in 19 preschool age children using functional MRI scans, while they listened to stories and sounds that were not speech.
At home, parents were interviewed about how often they read to their children, and about “cognitive stimulation” in general. The amount of time reported varied from two nights a week to every night.
The team found a link between the amount of time children had story time at home, and the amount of brain activity shown in the research lab while listening to stories.