This is your kid’s brain on books

Taking away screens and reading to our children during the formative years of birth to age 5 boosts brain development. We all know that’s true, but now science can convince us with startling images.

This is the brain of a preschooler who is often read to by a caregiver.

The red areas in this scan show a growth in organized white matter in the language and literacy areas of the child’s brain, areas that will support learning in school.

This is the brain of a preschooler who likely spends an average of two hours a day playing on screens.

The blue in this image shows massive underdevelopment and disorganization of white matter in the same areas needed to support learning in school.

‘Nuff said?

Recently, I mentioned – not for the first time – my mother’s practice of walking my sister and me to the neighborhood public library for our week’s worth of books every Saturday morning. A 3-mile round trip. I should also mention she taught each of us to read before we entered public school. Age 4.

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