The Benefits of Reading to Our Children

Rebecca Harris, Early Education Writer   •   July 25, 2018

In today's world of screens and video media, we sometimes forget about the joy of reading. Reading books aloud to your kids can be the most peacefully rewarding part of your everyday life if you set aside time for it. Simply reading aloud to your children can benefit all areas of their development, from bonding to cognitive learning.

Reading aloud provides the opportunity for one-on-one time. Phones are out of reach, distractions are put aside, and the result is a shared experience. Escaping into a book can be a great way to relieve the stress of the day and reconnect with your child. The stories in the books you read can have lasting effects on a child's outlook on life, serving as resources for learning life lessons and about foreign cultures.
Books are a great way to introduce diversity into a child's life through representation of different cultures. Expanding exposure to new cultures, people and places can cultivate a more open mind in our children. Seeing accurate representations of the world helps them develop a better sense of belonging. Books can also help tackle hard topics that parents might not know how to navigate. Is your child getting in trouble for biting? There's a dinosaur in a book that has the same problem! That T. rex can help show your child a better way to express anger than biting friends. Reading to children sets them up for academic success as well.

Research shows that reading aloud to your children even as early as eight weeks old can help with brain development. As they grow older, it helps with vocabulary, critical thinking, comprehension and social skills. Introducing books to children from a young age and following through as they grow into elementary age improves their literacy and is proven to help them do better overall in school. Studies measuring literacy scores, vocabulary assessments, socio-emotional outcomes and overall success shows improvement with the introduction of reading at a young age.  

Overall, reading to our children has lasting benefits for everyone involved. Disconnecting from screens and diving into a book with your kids is the best way to bond, learn and grow. Everyone wins when it's story time!