From "Counting Kisses" to "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," and from "The Cat in the Hat" to "Where the Wild Things Are," the books that were read to you as a child have a special place in your memories.
But there's more to snuggling up on Mom or Dad's lap while he or she reads than you may realize.
Being read to expands children’s imagination and vocabulary, as well as their ability to understand abstract concepts.
In fact, it actually helps the brain grow — and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has the MRIs to prove it.
They scanned the brains of 19 kids 3 to 5 years old and found that those children whose parents read to them had much more active and developed areas of the brain where you comprehend language and create mental images.
That development allows an easy transition from picture books to text-based books.
It's well-documented that a young child's mental development increases the more as parents talk to him or her. Kids need to hear words (not baby talk) and be spoken to directly from the very beginning of life.
By 18 months, kids who are not spoken to very often are already falling behind in verbal skills.
So talk to your children; read to them and make up stories together.
If you don't have a handy supply of kids' books, check out children's reading events at local bookstores and libraries.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.
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