According to the Children’s Reading Foundation 85-90 percent of brain growth occurs in the first five years of life. This affects not only cognitive skills but also emotional development. The best way an adult can help a child’s development is to read with them everyday, beginning at birth.
Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice- American Academy of Pediatrics
”Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.”
“Two Different Communication Genres and Implications for Vocabulary Development and Learning to Read” by Dominic W. Massaro, Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2015
This important research showed that reading aloud to your child was an even more effective way for your child to expand their vocabulary than just talking to your child. For example, in simple picture books there can be many words not found in every day speech. Massaro found that “Reading aloud is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding which forms the basis for learning how to read. Picture books are two to three times as likely as parent-child conversations to include a word that is not among the 5,000 most common English words.”
“The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by age 3” by Betty Hart and Todd Risley, University of Kansas, 1995
This important research showed that parents on welfare spoke and average of 620 words an hour to their children compared to the 2,150 words and hour that parents with professional jobs spoke to their children. It concluded there was a 30 million word gap by age three. The children whose parents spoke to them more had much better language skills and scored higher on IQ Tests.