The Benefits Of Reading To Your Child
Is there a more classic image of parenthood than snuggling up with your child and reading a book to them before bedtime? It may seem old-fashioned to some in this age of screens, but reading to your child is still as important a part of their development as it ever has been.
Why read to your child?
Reading to your child is an amazing way to bond with them and wind down for the day. Get them ready for bed and then snuggle down with them to enjoy a story together. It’s a lovely moment to be fully engaged with your child in a calm, relaxing environment in what may have otherwise been a hectic day.
Even at just a few months old, infants can listen to your voice, look at the images and begin to point to objects on the page. At this age it’s a brilliant way to begin forming associations between language and objects. It’s great for developing strong listening skills and the ability to focus. With the practice of daily reading, you will probably begin to notice your fidgeting, squirming toddler sitting still for longer stints as they want to focus on absorbing the story.
Reading to your child at a young age is also great for developing language skills and expanding vocabulary, as words that may not come up every day communications appear in the story you are reading. Discussing what you just read with them gets them to really process and absorb what they have just heard or read.
As children grow older and gain the ability to read themselves, reading aloud to your child continues to be a great bonding moment and allows them to access stories that are still beyond their reading skills. They can enjoy sharing the experience of familiar stories with younger siblings, while then enjoying more advanced stories with you. Moving away from picture books encourages them to use their imagination and really try to picture and understand the words they are reading without visual aids.
While a strong reading ability will set them up for success academically, it also opens their world up. Between non-fiction books on any topic that might interest them, books that frame difficult subjects in a way children can engage with and understand, and the simple joy of escaping into a good fictional story, reading is a fundamental skill, asset and - most importantly - pleasure that all children should experience and have access to for life.