The Benefits of Reading Regularly to Children

Reading is beneficial for individuals of all ages, especially young children. In fact, a report by the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center found that even before children begin to talk, they need to hear language to support their brain development. One of the best ways parents can facilitate this process is by reading a variety of books to their children.

However, there are other reasons you should start holding regular reading sessions with your child. Here are more benefits you can reap from the activity:

They stimulate creativity

Most children’s books feature diverse themes ranging from fantasy to slice-of-life stories. Because of this, young readers are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination to visualize the people, places, and things you read to them across various books. They are also challenged to think of numerous possibilities that may happen in the story and even learn problem-solving strategies and innovative perspectives from the protagonist’s journey. As a result, reading stimulates creativity and ignites the curiosity and enthusiasm of children to learn concepts outside of their usual surroundings. So when planning to read books with your child, ensure that you introduce a variety of books to expose them to different exciting scenarios.

They foster literacy development

Literacy development is a multifaceted process. Maryville University defined literacy development as the process of learning words, sounds, and language. When young children start to familiarize themselves with the structures of language, their phonological awareness begins to develop. In turn, this awareness helps them progress into developing their early reading and writing skills. However, young children cannot learn words and sounds independently. This is where enriching activities such as joint reading and storytelling become essential: they help children learn to distinguish words and sounds. If you want to give your child an advantage in literacy development, performing reading-related activities is a great strategy to consider.

They improve verbal abilities

In relation to our previous point, reading also improves the verbal abilities of young children. A study released in Frontiers Psychology reveals that children can become capable of communicating with their teachers, even when they’re still in a developmental stage, with the help of shared reading interactions with books. Moreover, reading enables children to expand their vocabulary. With this, the researchers conclude that shared book reading fosters critical communicative abilities in children. This includes phonological awareness, speech fluency, and connections with previous knowledge. All these things eventually form the foundation for language comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. This shows that reading to your child improves both their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

They promote stronger parent-child relationships

Lastly, reading to your child can help you form stronger bonds with them. According to researchers from New York University, shared book reading provides a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to connect since the activity increases the reported parental warmth and sensitivity experienced by parents. This enables you to better address the needs of your kids, resulting in healthy and early parent-child relationships that can persist even after childhood. Ultimately, reading offers various positive benefits that go beyond linguistic and cognitive development. So the next time your child has a reading session, make sure to be there and read with them.

Reading to your child can provide a host of holistic developmental benefits. However, doing so should not be a one-time activity. In our article on ‘NHR’s Top Five Tips to Prevent Summer Slide,’ we discussed that children who don’t read regularly lose about two to three months of reading development. That’s why regular reading sessions are important even when children are out of school. You can do this by visiting local public libraries or simply reading a book with your child before bedtime.

To learn more about how you can help your child in their education journey, visit our website at New Haven Reads.

Specially written for NewHavenREADS.org
By: Rishelle Judith