Reading aloud is very good for children, from the first months of life. "Various scientific researches have shown that reading with a certain continuity to children from the first year of life is of great benefit because it positively influences their overall development". Word of the pediatrician Giorgio Tamburlini, president of the Trieste Child Health Center and one of the national coordinators of the NATO to read initiative.
Why read to children
To begin with, reading to children «favors the development of language and listening skills, concentration and understanding of a story. This, in turn, facilitates learning in the young child and, in perspective, improves the reading and expressive skills of the older child, laying the foundations for the future achievement of good school results ». It also helps instill the pleasure of reading, motivating - over the years - children to do it on their own. In short, a child who, from the first months, receives daily readings, will tend to have a richer vocabulary, will express himself better and will be more curious to read than a peer not used to this.
Affective and relational aspects
But there is more. «Reading - underlines Tamburlini - has a positive effect on the parent-child relationship, because it represents an occasion in which mum or dad take a break from their usual activities and worries to devote themselves to them. It is a very intimate moment of sharing, a gesture of love, a positive and pleasant experience that strengthens the relationship with the adult, secure attachment ". For all this, no particular reading skills are required: just follow the text and undertake a reading with the child that also becomes dialogue, full of emotional exchanges. "Finally, remember that, through stories, children learn to recognize their own emotions and those of others more easily".
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When to do it
Before napping or sleeping, after meals, while traveling, while waiting (at the doctor, for example): any time is good to read, as long as it's a quiet time for both the child and the reader, mom or dad. A few minutes a day are enough, and if the child is agitated or restless, it is better not to insist, otherwise it stops being a pleasure.
The role of libraries
To read books to children you don't have to buy them: many libraries have special sections for children and teenagers, who have joined the Born to Read project. They offer children and parents the opportunity to learn about many books, borrow them and, by participating in group readings, discover the simplicity and beauty of reading aloud.
The first children's books
«Up to six months, the infant has not yet developed the skills necessary to approach the book physically. However, when he gains the ability to sit and govern his head, you can begin to approach him to reading »says Monica Castagnetti, a pedagogist at Nati per read. “This does not mean that he will be able to follow a story for a long time, but that will be able to interact with the volume as an object: will touch it; will taste it; he will look at him, attracted by his colors; and will be available to observe it at least for a few moments. Thereafter, the ability to sustain attention on the book will gradually increase ».
1. The characteristics
The first books to offer the child should be very resistant and made with non-toxic materials, because it is likely that he will play with it by throwing it on the ground and bringing it to his mouth. "To capture his attention and maintain his concentration - which at first is limited - it is better to focus on colored volumes and easily recognizable images, even better if photographs".
2. The beauty of nursery rhymes
Not just stories: at the beginning you can also bet a lot on nursery rhymes, which children like very much because they recreate a world of rhythmic and calm sounds. And they can easily be recited or sung.
3. When the baby grows up
Generally starting from nine months a dialogic reading can be offered to the child, which helps reinforce language. «For example - explains Castagnetti - if we are reading a story in which a ball appears, we can stop, point to the figure and say this is the ball. The child, in turn, will point to it, recognizing it, and at that point we could add: and where is your ball? ».
Why listen to music
From the first days of life (and actually from before, from pregnancy) too music plays an important role for the cognitive development of the child. Several scientific researches, in fact, show that music, in addition to favoring the development of language and motor coordination, helps children to develop listening and observation skills, to promote concentration and attention and to exercise memory. . Furthermore, listening to and "making" music with mum and dad strengthens the bond with the adult and is a source of well-being. In short, yes to music for children, even very young ones.
Which one to choose and how to propose it
According to the indications of the Born for Music program, children can be played (even live) in any musical genre: classical, popular, pop, country or other music. The important thing is that it is quality music, not trivial, that the child likes it and that listening is a pleasant experience, of play and fun, bearing in mind to avoid the use of music as a constant background. But beware: for parents, it should not be just a matter of choosing a few CDs, but rather of creating an adequate environment to favor the first musical discoveries and the natural inclination of children for music and explore the sounds of the environment. Go ahead, therefore, also to the offer of everyday objects capable of producing sounds, to the singing (together) of songs and nursery rhymes, to the possibility, for the little one, to experience the first movements "to the rhythm of music".
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Updated on 12.08.2022TAG:
- musical education
- eleven months
- newborn stimuli
- newborn 9-12 months