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How Reading To Children Helps Them Grow And Thrive

by | Nov 25, 2020 | Core Skills

Reading to children is the single most important thing you can do to contribute to their future reading success. Reading aloud directly influences your child’s perception of how exciting and fulfilling books can be!

By sharing the magic of reading with your child, you can help develop their interest in learning to read and, later, mastering it!

This article will tell you what you need to know about why reading to children is so important and how it helps them grow, as well as offer some fun, easy ways to incorporate reading aloud into your family’s routine.

The Benefits Of Reading To Children

Father and daughter reading in an egg chair


Facilitates Bonding

The biggest benefit of reading aloud to your child is simple and effective: it allows you to share a bit of joy.

Regularly reading to your child allows you to connect, share stories, and make memories with one another. It’s an activity you can share starting from as early on as their newborn days. Plus, it’s an easy, effective way to bond — you can read to your child almost anywhere, anytime.

Reading to your child shows your affection for them, while also demonstrating how easy books are to love. Children will connect reading with the love and joy they feel tucked up next to you, chatting and expanding their imagination.

As a parent, you stand to benefit, too. You’ll learn more about your child’s interests — what excites them about reading and learning. What do they want to learn more about? What things are going on in their world that might open up some ideas for exploration?

For example, if your young child loves trucks and getting messy in the mud, maybe driving by a construction site to see those machines in action will excite them.

For an older child, maybe a silly story about space exploration encourages them to check out a nonfiction book about astronauts.

All of this exploring can take place because of the safe space you’ve created with your child. Having your sacred reading time together assures them that there will always be a time when you can come together, connect, and share whatever is on your mind.

Stimulates The Imagination

Scientists have long studied the effects of reading aloud to children. And there’s a world of benefits to derive from even a few minutes of reading to children each day!

It’s been found that when children listen to stories, the area of their brains associated with visual imagery and story comprehension lights up. This means that every time you sit down to read to your child, you’re helping their brain develop!

Aside from the fact that reading is loads of fun, you can also take comfort in knowing that reading to children directly impacts their minds for the better!

Outdoor portrait of a cute young girl reading a book

Encourages Emotional And Social Development

Children learn from their parent’s reactions to stories. They’ll look to you for clues on how they should feel about plot points as well as the characters’ actions, decisions, or the choices they may have to make.

Your child’s emotional range will develop as they’re exposed to the complicated scenarios and moral dilemmas that books explore. They’ll gauge your emotions to understand their own feelings.

As their parent, you’re there to guide them through these feelings and offer some insight into why certain stories might make your child feel specific ways.

Does the story you’re reading together explore friendship? Does it talk about the importance of sharing or the power of their imagination?

No matter what the context is, reading to your child will allow you to tackle these new adventures together. You’ll help them develop a sense of empathy as they imagine what the characters are feeling.

You can encourage them to think about what they might do in a similar situation. They can even think about what the characters in a book would do if they lived your child’s everyday life. How would things be different?

Exploring imaginary scenarios like this will help your child’s emotional capacity flourish, not to mention it will allow you to bond over your shared feelings about the things you read (and the world beyond!).


Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos
Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos

Chief Learning Officer at Begin

Jody has a Ph.D. in Developmental Science and more than a decade of experience in the children’s media and early learning space.