Children | Infants & Toddlers
August 19, 2016

5 benefits of reading to children

by Benefits of Reading to Children

There are numerous benefits of reading to children. Here’s just 5 reasons why you should start today.


Reading to young children is incredibly important. Aside from making you feel good, there are benefits of reading for children of any age: infant, toddler, young child, and on and on. Here are just a few reasons why you should read to your child for 20 minutes each and every day:

1. School preparation

Reading aloud is the easiest and most effective way to prepare a child for school. And it’s never too early to start. Kids who are read to when they are young are more likely to do well in school overall. When you read to children, you are stimulating language and literacy skills, as well as building motivation, curiosity and memory. Ever try to skip a page in a small child’s favorite book?  She catches you every time.

2.  Vocabulary development

Almost 80 percent of a child’s brain develops before age 5. Kids are sponges when they are little. Say a word in front of them and they repeat it. Read to them, and they hear words that they don’t normally encounter in daily conversation. Books build their vocabulary and give them a mastery of language.

3. Education advancement

The more children’s books in the home, the farther the child goes in school. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or what your parents do; research shows that the more age-appropriate books in children’s homes, the more schooling they will finish. Period. So get as many books as you can for your children, and watch them learn and grow.

4. Passion for books

Reading to children builds family relationships, and children learn to love books and reading. Ever want a child to settle down? Break out a book and start reading aloud. Then watch. That child will stop, come over, probably sit in your lap and cuddle while you read to her. Then she will want another book, and another. Look at her! Now she’s learning self-discipline while enjoying a special time with you. All from a book.

5. Stress management

Children learn how to handle stress and new experiences from books. Stories are a great way to help children transition from one milestone to another (starting school, moving), or to handle a stressful situation (losing a pet, gaining a new sibling). There are relevant children’s books for almost every situation — including dealing with the loss of a loved one — and they can really help explain things to children on their level.


This is by no means a complete list of why reading to young children is crucial to their development, but it’s a start! Share the benefits you have found in the comments below.

Early Childhood, Infants

11 thoughts on “5 benefits of reading to children”

  1. Scott says:

    Great list of benefits to reading to children. I didn’t realize that how many books you have in the home determines how far they will go in school. I can see why it would be important to have a lot of books in the house that the children could choose and read from. My niece is just learning how to read. My sister should consider buying a variety of books they can read together so that my niece can get better at it.

  2. Dennis Sanchez says:

    In your article you wrote that reading books to children is a great way to increase your child’s vocabulary. I’ve been looking for ways to help my daughter develop and have been wondering if I should find more books to read to her. I would love for her to have a good grasp on the language, so I’ll definitely have to find more great children’s books for her.

    1. Maura Ammenheuser says:

      There are so many wonderful children’s books out there. If you’re looking for fresh material, ask a librarian at your public library for age-appropriate suggestions. Have fun!

  3. Tomas Killington says:

    My wife and I have been looking for activities we can do to help our toddler. We want to ensure he develops quickly and has good habits. I didn’t realize reading stories with children can help vocabulary development through exposing them to words they don’t hear in ordinary conversation and using them in context. I’ll be sure to let my wife know about these great benefits.

  4. Troy Blackburn says:

    That’s so very interesting that research has shown that the more children’s books that are in the home, the farther the child goes in school. I’ve heard, too, that children who are exposed to reading at an earlier age tend to have higher IQs and greater motivation. I’ll be sure to keep this great information in mind as we do our best to have our kids be as smart as they can.

  5. Jeremy Thompson says:

    I liked that the simple act of reading a book with your child will help her to appreciate the art of reading while gaining new knowledge, skills, and self-discipline. That’s perfect since I really wanted my children to share my love for books when they grow up. I’ll purchase some kids book to read to them later and before they sleep. Thanks for the helpful read about reading and its benefits to children!

  6. Juris Ainsworth says:

    Of the things that you mentioned, what got me was when you said that reading actually helps children handle stress better and deal with new experiences in a more prepared manner. I guess if that’s the case, then reading will also open their eyes to many things and teach them how to effectively manage them. I am not sure if it is already a good time to teach my sister about life challenges and suicide, but I will still consider it. Thank you.

  7. Deb Pearl says:

    Thank you for listing all the benefits of reading to children. That is amazing that almost 80% of a child’s brain develops before the age of 5. I can see why it would be very important to read to them so they can get used to hearing different words. I will have to read my kids more often.

  8. Gary Puntman says:

    My daughter loves books. I’m sure there are a lot of benefits of this. It’s good to know that reading to children is the best way to prepare them for school. I’m sure this would help them do better in school as well, like you said.

  9. Dean Phillips says:

    I really like how you said that children will learn how to handle stress and new experiences from books. My son is going into kindergarten in a few years, and I want to prepare as much as I possibly can before he starts. It would be great if I could find some books that are geared towards his age that he would enjoy.

  10. Amy Winters says:

    Thank you for pointing out that the more children’s books are in the home, the further the child goes in school. My husband thought I was crazy because I wanted a diverse library in my home. I now have books that range from baby books, adult romance novels. It’s good to know that the more age-appropriate books that I have in the house will affect my daughter’s education in a good way.

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