The Enchanted Hour: the miraculous power of reading aloud in the age of distraction

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 10:35am -- JGranatino

Clinical studies demonstrate that reading aloud to children stimulates brain development, literacy, vocabulary, and social-emotional skills; however, research also indicates that too much passive “screen time” leads to underdevelopment of higher-order brain networks. Reading together offers an opportunity for strengthening parent/child bonds, for discussion, and for transmission of values. The benefits of reading aloud are not isolated to young children. For example, this activity can provide a welcome distraction and time for meaningful interaction with persons challenged by the limitations of age and illness, a comfort to babies in incubators or patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, a remedy for isolation and loneliness. Author Gurdon suggests that we all rediscover this simple, shared pleasure, which yields so many rich rewards.

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