Benefits of reading to your children
Reading to your child can be one of the most rewarding activities both personally and intellectually that you share together. There are many benefits to reading together. Benefits include emotional closeness, vocabulary development, language cognition, voice recognition, image recognition and increased imagination. The greatest of these benefits is the connection that comes from a shared interest and seeing the connection change and grow through the years.
There are countless benefits we can get from reading. Both the child, which is the listener, and the parent, who is the reader, can get benefits from reading. If at an early age you already started reading to your children, this will lead to the possibility of making them lifelong readers.
Reading to young children stimulates their development and can give them a head start when they reach school. Apart from helping their reading, sharing a bedtime story with a child promotes their motor skills, through learning to turn the pages, and their memory. It also improves their emotional and social development.
Books teach your child thinking skills early. When you read to your child, he learns to understand cause and effect, he learns to exercise logic, as well as think in abstract terms. He learns the consequences of actions, and the basics of what is right and wrong. They also teach your child about relationships, situations, personalities, and what is good and what is bad in the world he lives in. Fantasy books provide material for his imagination and free play. Fairy tales fascinate children, and help them distinguish between what is real and what is not.
Reading to your kids before bedtime helps them to relax. After all those tiring activity games, after playing bikes, running or building blocks, reading to your kids at the end of the day will help them to relax.
Reading to your child is critical when they are beginning to develop speech skills. Hearing the words you are reading allows them to begin to put together the patterns that make up spoken language. Reading aloud also increases a child’s attention, listening skills and imagination. It is for this reason that you should read to your children at least once a day.
Tips for Reading Aloud
- Make it fun and stress free. Don’t turn an enjoyable event into a stressful must do reading drill time.
- Read with expression. Changing the pitch (high/low), tone (gentle/rough), and volume (soft/loud) of your voice to show different characters or to create a mood will add excitement and meaning to the story. Let your facial expressions show the story content by smiling, frowning, showing surprise, anger, etc. Copy the characters’ actions, such as sneezing or sighing.
- Find a consistent time to read each day or week. This will form reading habits and also emphasize the importance of reading.
- Choose a variety of books. Animals, trucks, objects, etc. You’ll be able to expose your child to a world much larger than the one they are currently in.
- Talk about the story. Point to characters or objects in the pictures as you read about them in the story. Allow your children to interrupt the reading with questions and comments about them. Encourage them to tell you what they see and hear, and to predict what will happen next.
- Read the same book again, and again, and again. They’ll learn by repetition and soon your child will be reading along withyou, and then to you
How many of you read to your children at least once a day?
Some parents rarely read their children a bed time story if any stories at all. I have spoken with teachers who have told me many children have admitted that their parents have NEVER read aloud to them. Do you or your partner read aloud to your children a good night story?