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Ready, steady, read!

Did you know the quality of our interaction with our kids will determine their ability to learn? The ability to nurture relationships and interactions is one of the most valuable skills we can develop and share.

Recently, I attended an insightful seminar hosted by Helen and Mary Wadsworth from The Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop (amazing shop by the way), where Dr. Nicky Nelson presented findings from the Brainwave Trust. Her presentation, ‘The Early Years Last Forever’, reminded participants that consistent, responsive, loving care in the earliest years of a child’s life grows great brains and great individuals.

It's important to keep in mind that when children play or interact with others, they are learning about social behaviour, including how to express themselves, how to make decisions and how to apply empathy.

What sort of interactions are there?

Any form of interactive activity such as singing, playing, talking or reading will enable the stimulation of neurons in the brain and will influence the healthy development of the nervous system.

Like constructing a house, our brains need to be built upon a strong foundation. Children’s experiences and interactions help build the structure, put in the wiring, and plaster the walls. The stronger the foundation, the more resilient the house will be. The same goes with a child’s brain and its capacity to build key skills for future success.

Recent scientific research confirmed that language is acquired most easily during the first ten years of life. During these years, the circuits in children’s brains become wired for how their own language sounds. The more children are exposed to words and sounds from an early age, the higher their capacity to build new neural connections will be, and they will, in turn, have a greater capacity to learn as they get older.

Reading is a wonderful way to spark engagement and joy in learning. It offers an important form of stimulation. When you read with your children, you expose them to many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development. Reading also invites your child to look, point, touch, and ask questions — all of which promote creativity and critical thinking skills.

There are many other benefits to reading. According to the latest behavioural research, it can help with stress or turmoil occurring in your life. When reading, you are learning new things and this increases dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Reading also enhances your memory and expands your vocabulary. Finally, it can transport you and your little ones to another world, fuel your imagination and create treasured memories. 

Now you know all the tricks, what are you waiting for?

@bardellibooks @schoolofconfidence 2019

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