Did You Know? Reading To Children Promotes Brain Development

According to an article from, studies have confirmed that reading to your children can promote their individual brain development. When parents take the time to read books and stories to their children, the difference can be shown in both the child’s behavior and in their academic performance. This news was launched at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego on April 25, 2015. According to John Hutton, MD, of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, “We were excited to show, for the first time, that reading exposure during the critical stage of development prior to kindergarten seems to have a meaningful, measurable impact on how a child’s brain processes stories and may help predict reading success.”

It’s no surprise that other professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and other advocacy groups have encouraged new parents to read to their children from birth. This is done in order to foster early learning and to create those connections in the child’s brain that promote language learning and development. 

In this study, Dr. Hutton worked with his colleagues to show whether reading to preschoolers affects brain networks that support reading skills. These researchers studied 19 healthy preschoolers between the ages of three and five years old, 37 percent of whom came from low-income households. Each child’s primary caregiver was required to fill out a questionnaire that was specifically designed to measure cognitive stimulation in the home. The questionnaire looked at three main areas: parent-child reading, frequency of reading and the variety of books read, and parent-child interaction.

Each child underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is used to measure brain activity while they were listening to children’s books and stories via headphones. The researchers decided to study whether there would be differences in brain activation supporting comprehension of the stores in areas of the brain that are known to be involved with language. The results of the study showed that greater home reading exposure was very strongly associated with the activation of certain brain areas that support language processing.

Once the study concluded, Dr. Hutton remarked, “We hope that this work will guide further research on shared reading and the developing brain to help improve interventions and identify children at risk for difficulties as early as possible, increasing the chances that they will be successful in the wonderful world of books.” As you can see, reading to your child on a regular basis can help promote early brain development.

If you’re looking for educational and inspiring children’s books to read to your little one, be sure to check out the array of kids books at Our Legendary Ladies! Our passion is to encourage parents to not only read to their children at a young age but to also go beyond the basics of numbers, colors, and animals to learn more about the legendary ladies of our time. Whether you read our stories to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or friends, we’re confident you’ll love their inspirational message. Browse our online children’s bookstore today to find the perfect book for your child!