Children’s Education:

The Importance of Reading to Your Children – The Lost Art

Introductory Post – Benefits of Reading

We all know reading to our children is important, right? But do we realize HOW important it really is? As a parent, reading to our children daily is one of the most important habits we can develop to not only enhance their vocabulary but to also develop their cognitive abilities, listening skills and personalities.  Taking the time to read to your kiddos also helps them understand a world outside of their own all the while strengthening your family bond.  Who wouldn’t want that for their children?  In this series of articles, you will learn the ins and outs of what goes on inside the minds of your littles, the science of why it’s important, ways to engage and make reading the same book over and over (and over again) more fun for you and other various tips. 

There are many benefits that come with exposing your child to reading at a young age.  Cognitive benefits, developing personality traits and boosting their future successes are just a few.   So let’s dive right in with some of the obvious and not so obvious benefits.  

  • Strong Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension: Kids who comprehend the most from their readings are those who know and have been exposed to a lot of words. The best way to be exposed to a lot of words is (of course) reading!!  
  • Develops Imagination: Imagination is the window to creativity.  When reading to an infant or toddler, the brain is working hard bringing those images to life in their mind. They are listening to the words and looking at the pictures and using their imagination to bring the story to life. One of my favorites that share this example is “The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears”. My son and I are absolutely glued to this one!!
  • Creates a child-parent bond: Reading to your infant, toddler, or even grade school child creates a strong bond.  It also gives your child a sense of well-being, comfort, protection, and intimacy.  
  • Exercise for the brain and improves concentration: Reading is a complex task believe it or not. It strengthens the brains connections and builds new ones.  As a child reads, they also have to sit still and focus which helps them develop better concentration skills.   
  • Better success in school: Children who are good readers not only excel in their English class but in all related subjects!! 
  • Helps Develop Empathy: As children get older, they will begin to imagine how they would feel in situations in their stories and will begin to understand and share the feelings of the characters. This will help them implement this understanding into their everyday life. 
  • Helps develop proper motor skills: Here’s one you may not have thought of.  Reading helps to develop proper motor skills in your child. Simply asking your child to help you turn the pages of the book, lift a flap or ask them to lift books up to see what’s underneath them all helps with the development of their motor skills.

These benefits just skim the basics of the importance of reading to your children.  It only takes 20 minutes a day to deliver these benefits to your child!  You don’t have to read for 20 consecutive minutes, you can read in whatever time frame works for you on any given day.   And….it can be the same book over and over as repetition is also a benefit (but we will discuss that next time so stay tuned!!).  

This article focuses a lot on reading to babies and toddlers but it is just as important to read aloud to your older kids as well.  Don’t stop reading to them just because they can read.  Look for these benefits in a future article.