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5 Reasons to Read to Babies and Toddlers Every Day


Save the Children knows that early learning opportunities are so critical for children. That's why our education experts work across rural America, providing early learning opportunities through Early Steps, Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Our early learning programs are founded on the belief that parents and caregivers are their children’s first and most important teachers. Here, our experts have shared 5 reasons to read to young children, even babies.

#1: 90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5, setting the foundation for health, learning and social development.

It’s crucial to help build neural connections during this time of rapid development — and reading is an excellent way to do that. Keep swiping to find out why!

#2: Book time is bonding time.

Few things are more vital to a young child’s development than loving, nurturing interactions with a caregiver. Your baby or toddler will love being close to you and hearing your voice. And when books are associated with love, a lifelong reader is born.

#3: Books provide the building blocks of language — and it’s never too early.

A child’s first three years of life are the most important for acquiring speech and language skills. The more they’re exposed to the sounds and words of their native language, the easier it will be to learn. And caregivers who read one picture book with their child daily expose them to about 78,000 words per year!

#4: Reading helps with behavioral and social-emotional development.

Through books, children will see characters who may be going through emotions and experiences they’ll have themselves, and they can see how those characters deal with them. They’ll also witness ways to communicate those emotions to others.

#5: Books provide a valuable sensory experience.

As babies and toddlers explore books with their five senses, they’re learning by experiencing colors, turning pages, pointing at pictures, opening and closing the cover, and so much more. Repetition is key, and those habits lead to comfort with reading and communicating in the future.

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