The Power of Christmas Books for Children
According to PBS kids, reading to kids outloud has a lot of positive effects. I second that. My mom read to me a lot as a child and to this day I have a lifelong love of reading. (Just…less time to read for fun!)
Benefits of Reading To Children: The Science
Reading aloud to kids has clear cognitive benefits. For example, brain scans show that hearing stories strengthens the part of the brain associated with visual imagery, story comprehension, and word meaning. One study found that kindergarten children who were read to at least three times a week had a “significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often.” And the landmark Becoming a Nation of Readers report from 1985 concluded that “the single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”
But reading also strengthens children’s social, emotional, and character development. According to arecently published study, reading to very young children is linked to decreased levels of aggression, hyperactivity, and attention difficulties. The study’s lead author shared this insight with The New York Times, “When parents read with their children more . . . they learn to use words to describe feelings that are otherwise difficult and this enables them to better control their behavior when they have challenging feelings like anger or sadness.”https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/why-reading-aloud-to-kids-helps-them-thrive
A Tradition Thanks to my Mother
When I was a child, every year for Christmas, my mom would buy me a special Christmas Book. On the inside cover, she would write me a small note. Sometimes it would be about my struggles, notable events of the year, and how proud she was of me. Sometimes, she taped in a photo. (Oh the 90’s hair….)
What a special gift these continue to be. I laugh thinking that I wanted to be a “dentist lady”……and then a farmer with my friend from across the street! Often, I look back and read the notes with a smile. I can remember as a little girl, curling up with my mom on the couch in the living room….the beautiful Christmas tree glowing gently as snow fell.
This one was my favorite that she read to me. Such cute little characters!
As you can see, these memories lasted with me. Now, I have a 4 and 6 year old. Tonight, I will snuggle up with them and allow them to pick one of these dear Christmas books. I will make them hot chocolate, and we will read together. Not only are there cognitive benefits that were referenced earlier in this post. The best part is that you will create lasting memories. You can also make some “moon cookies” to go with your story time.
Start Your Own Collection
I decided that I would leave you with a list of great Christmas books that you can check out. You can get your Christmas book collection started. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. So, make memories today!!!!!!