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Each week on Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, explore different aspects of human behavior and the brain.

Why You Should Read Aloud to Your Kids

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It's no surprise that reading aloud to your kids is good for them. 

But why is it so important? What's going on in a child's brain when they're hearing stories of giant fruit carrying orphans across the ocean? On this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the child's brain on books.

As it turns out, when kids are learning to read they have to decipher a lot. Reading is not a natural thing for us humans. When children are listening to you read to them, their brains are making connections. They're using their imaginations to construct images they're hearing about. They are being exposed to words that they wouldn't normally hear in daily conversations.

When we are reading, we are extracting sounds from visuals. "That's a busy thing to do," says Markman. And for kids, when they're spending all their time figuring out what those symbols mean, reading can be really hard, and not so much fun. But when kids are able to listen to the stories, they can make those connections between words and sounds and meaning much faster.

Reading to kids also helps them develop good reading habits. It gives them something to strive for and to build toward.

Plus, the real benefit is that you get to spend time with your kids. You get to think with them about something. You get to find out about their world view. It's a win all around!

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