The Benefits of Reading to Your Child

According to recent research, babies' brains are preparing for speech months before they even start talking. With this being said, they need to constantly hear words so that they can tell which ones are the right ones to say. This is where reading to your child is very beneficial.

Reading with your child also has the following benefits:

  • Helps expand their vocabulary. When you read to your kids, they are exposed to a lot of new words that aren't used regularly. This is great for their vocabulary development because books often include more than just sounds that children hear every day in speech or social interactions; literacy also involves understanding what those unfamiliar phrases mean.

  • Helps support word learning and preliteracy skills. With book reading, you can have a back-and-forth interaction with your child that will help them learn words in an engaging way.

  • Helps Increase the quality of language they encounter. While it’s true that children often hear words in their everyday lives, the quality of those conversations isn't always great. However a 2013 study showed that babies whose parents read and talked with them frequently score higher in language skills than other babies.

  • Helps with recognizing sounds. When you read a book to your child, the repeating phrases and rhythms help them learn how words are pronounced. The sing-songy way in which many children's books are written actually helps children recognize individual sounds.

More Reading Benefits

Still not convinced of the benefits for reading to your child? Here are some more benefits:

  • Reading helps prepare children for academic success. The University of Michigan has identified five key skills that are necessary to early childhood development. what helps with all of these skills? You guessed it, reading!

  • Reading can help with listening skills. Listening is an important skill for kids to develop before they can read. Comprehending stories read aloud involves a certain level of comprehension, and that skill will help your child in all sorts ways!

  • Reading can help boost creativity. The power of reading is truly immense. Reading not only opens children’s minds to the world around them (nonfiction), but it also introduces them into magical worlds and made-up places that help with an active imagination, which can grow with time as they get older.

  • Reading can help kids make connections to the world around them. Infants and toddlers are often in awe of their first few experiences with books. When reading to them, Look at a picture, and ask them what they see. These small interactions help make the connection between reading material and real life even stronger for kids! These are a few examples:

  • There’s a wolf in this story! Did you know that wolves and dogs are really similar?

  • That person sure is grumpy. Why do you think they feel that way?

  • Hey! That dad takes his kids to the park, too!

  • Look, their mom works in a big office just like your mom does.

Just like math, reading is all around us. But just because it's everywhere doesn't mean kids will pick it up on their own. To make a lasting impression on your child, read regularly with them. The memories that reading creates can help create some truly magical times for both of you!