Do you love reading? But you are having trouble fitting reading time in with your kids? Or maybe they are not interested so you just give up. Just because they are not giving you their full attention doesn’t mean you should stop reading to them. It can take a lot of time for kids to be able to sit still and enjoy listening to a book. But if you are willing to put in the effort, you will see the benefits. Work to instill the importance of reading books to children, and you will be raising readers too!
Why is reading to children so important?
There are MANY reasons! And I am going to go over some of them for you here. Because I want you to be aware of all of the benefits of reading aloud to your children so that you are encouraged to do it more often.
The Importance of Reading to Children
Reading and listening to you read to them is one of the main ways that children learn. But there are a lot of spe3cifics that go into WHY reading to your children is better than just teaching them to read and stopping your read-aloud time then. It will help you build stronger relationships, and for them to improve several skills that will help them throughout life.
Recommended Read-aloud Books
The Read-Aloud Handbook
The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids
Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever
Audible Membership – I listen to audiobooks more than I read with young kids. And the benefits are still there if you are listening together!!
Read-aloud Book Recommendations
Harry Potter: The Illustrated Collection
Room on the Broom
Boynton’s Greatest Hits Volume 1: Blue Hat, Green Hat; A to Z; Moo, Baa, La La La!; Doggies (Boynton Board Books)
I say Ooh, You Say Aah!
Illustrated Fairy Tales
Not only will children of any age develop better communication skills by listening to a read-aloud session, but it will improve your skills too. The more you practice your ability to read aloud the better you will become. How can you complain about an activity during which everyone benefits?
If you can think of a topic, you can find a book about it. Books can take you and your children on an adventure together. And each time you read a story it can be a little bit different based on what else is going on around you. Different things will jump off the page and you will hear new advice each time you go through it. Taking a moment to reflect (in a fun way of course!) about what you learned after each read-aloud session is a great way to help retain some of your new knowledge. And who knows? Maybe one of the kids heard something that you completely missed!
There is no doubt that reading improves your language. The more books you read the more words you know. And as you continue to read aloud to your children, they will have more ways to use language to communicate whatever they may need to throughout their life.
Provides Mental Stimulation
In our world today there is a lot of screens and mindless activities. Sitting for a few minutes and just listening to a story can provide your brain with much needed mental stimulation to get it really working again. Not only will your child be working hard to pay attention, but often times it will encourage creativity and imagination as they try to picture the world that you are reading about.
I know that I mentioned this in my last point, but it is important enough for its own as well. Reading and listening to a read-aloud encourages creativity and imagination in a way that watching a movie can’t. Have you ever read a book and had an image of a character in your head, but then you saw the actor portraying them and were really confused? This is where imagination comes into play. And why I like to read a book before I watch the movie. Allow your kids to have that chance to imagine the world themselves before feeding them a pre-made image. They will be better for it.
Motivates and Inspires
This is something I don’t think many people think of when they consider the importance of reading to children so I think it’s important to include it. Books and stories are usually very inspiring. They often motivate you to be a better person when you consider the underlying (or obvious!) themes. We all know nursery rhymes and bedtime stories have morals, but we tend to forget that most books include great lessons for our kids. And reading a book as a family gives you a chance to touch on those topics in an approachable and casual way as a parent.
If your child is struggling with something like bullying or a difficult test coming up, then having a short read-aloud session can help them to forget their worries for a few minutes. They can go back afterward and look at it with fresh eyes and not be so deep inside their heads anymore.
Encourages Time Together
Having a weekly (or daily!) read-aloud time together schedules quality time in for all of you. It is a great way to encourage strong relationships between all family members. And it will quickly become something that your children look forward to!
Teaching the Importance of Reading
By keeping all of these benefits of reading in your own mind, you will be able to consciously take advantage of each of them every time you read together. You can encourage learning the skills and make your kids aware of their learning in natural ways that they will enjoy.
It makes it very easy to teach your kids the importance of reading without sitting them down and saying it out loud. Because talk about a boring conversation for kids! I’m sure it would all just be “blah blah blah” to them.
If you are interested in reading more about the importance of reading and benefits of read-aloud make sure you check out the recommended reading resources and read-aloud books at the top of this post!
For more recommendations check out: