Children are like sponges, especially when it comes to reading. They absorb new information at a rate faster than we could ever imagine. This is why there are so many amazing benefits of reading to children.
Not only does reading together help with language and literacy skills, but it’s also a great way to promote cognitive development, emotional awareness, bonding, and so much more!
Whether your child is 3 months old or 3 years old, the importance of reading to children should not be overlooked!
Including books and story time in your nightly routine is one of the best gifts you could give both you and your little one!
9 Incredible Benefits of Reading to Children
So, what exactly are the benefits of reading to kids? Here is a list of 9 amazing advantages that reading can provide your child.
1. Language Development
It is no surprise that reading is one of the best activities for language development. But, do you know the incredible impact it has on their vocabulary?
A recent study from Ohio State University found that children who are read to every day before entering kindergarten are exposed to nearly 1.4 million more words than children who are not read to at all.
This is a major advantage that can help set your child up for future success, and it only requires a couple minutes every day!
2. Pre-Reading Skills
Pre-reading skills are essentially a set of skills that children need to master before they can become proficient readers.
Unfortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that 1 in 3 children are entering kindergarten without the early skills that are needed for learning to read.
Some of these skills include knowing the letters, understanding their sounds, and having an age-appropriate vocabulary.
If you make the effort to read to your child daily, even if it is just the menu at the restaurant, they should have no issues in developing these pre-reading skills!
3. Supports Future Academic Success
While early math skills are the number one predictor of later academic success, pre-reading skills are the second-best predictor.
Recent research has found that nearly 1 in 6 children who are not proficient readers by grade 3 will fail to finish their high school education. To bring it back full circle, another research study found that the children who had the best reading proficiency in grade 3 were the children who had high levels of early reading skills at the start of kindergarten.
What we do at home before formal schooling is crucial to help set them up for success. This is why it is so important to read to your children as much as possible!
4. Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is basically the process of learning to think and understand using reasoning. It helps with information processing, decision-making, problem-solving, and so much more!
When children are being read to, thousands of neural connections are forming every single second. Many research studies have found that children who are read to daily have higher levels of cognitive functioning later in life.
When reading together, try asking open-ended questions like, “What do you think is going to happen next?” to get them thinking on their own. This is a great cognitive activity to promote and encourage development.
5. Emotional Awareness
The reason there are so many benefits of reading to children is because each story is unique and provides endless opportunities for learning!
Every book has new characters in a different situation. Through reading, children are able to experience other people’s lives and perspectives.
Not only does this help kids to learn empathy, but it also lets children know that others feel and experience the same emotions that they themselves might feel.
6. Improved Listening Skills
Listening is an incredibly important skill that is essential for academics, relationships, and life in general. Unfortunately, today’s society is losing the art of being able to listen.
In order for children to follow along with a story, they have to use their active listening skills.
To promote reading as an engaging listening activity, parents should try asking questions like, “How do you think the story will end?” or “Why do you think that happened?”.
7. Bonding Time
There is nothing better than finishing up a long day with your little one reading a nice story! Children feel safe, secure, and loved during this special time together.
While reading together is very beneficial for the child, recent research has come out showing the amazing benefits it has on the adult reader! The study found that parents who read with their children have very high levels of positive emotion and they prefer the longer more complex books that allow for more time to bond and interact with their child.
8. Decreased Behavioral Problems
The ability of your child to regulate their emotions and behaviors is a major school readiness skill.
Reading with your child is actually a great activity to encourage social-emotional development. One study summarized in the New York Times showed that children who were read to regularly from 0-3 years of age were less likely to develop behavior problems like aggression, hyperactivity, and attention disorders.
Children who can understand and control their emotions tend to have better relationships with others and perform better academically.
9. Creativity + Imagination
One of the amazing things about stories is that anything is possible!
My favorite book series growing up was The Magic Treehouse because I was able to transport my mind to whatever adventure the characters were on!
Reading can really spark your child’s imagination. As children develop their creativity, they learn to try out new ideas and think in different ways.
There are so many amazing benefits of reading to children. Creating a little time every day for reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child. Not only will it create amazing memories, but it will also give your child the skills they need to be successful both in and out of school.