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.