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benefits of reading to children

I am an avid reader. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement; I read a lot. And one of my favorite books to read is Thud! by author Terry Pratchett. In this book, the main character Commander Sam Vimes has a rule that he must never break: every day, he must be home on time to read to his child at bed time. There are many hilarious scenes where every level of the police force helps him hurry home, dash through the house, and explode into his child’s bedroom before the clock stops striking the hour. Terry Pratchett, and through him, Commander Sam Vimes, knows how vital it is to read to your kids each and every day. Here are five reasons why it’s so important.

1.  Reading aloud to your kids will make them better students.

They will learn to associate sounds with words on the page, words on the page with their accompanying pictures, and this word association will eventually lead to better reading comprehension. It will also expand your kids’ vocabulary, far more than if they are just parroting back the conversations they hear around them.

2.  Reading aloud to your kid will make them better listeners.

They have to practice active listening in order to follow along with the story, and the longer they can sit still and listen to a book, the better their attention span will be. Curating a better attention span early on in life? Your kids’ teachers will thank you later.

3.  Reading aloud to your kid will open up their world.

Encouraging curiosity, stimulating creativity, and developing imagination? All this can be achieved with a good book. We all want the next generation to believe they can do anything and be anything. It all starts with the imagination to dream it’s possible. Some of the greatest scientific achievements of our time were discovered or developed because a scientist dared to think outside the box, and you can’t do that with a limited imagination.

You can also introduce them to concepts, cultures, and even countries they may not learn about in school. Kids can ask questions to learn more about the world they live in, and you can encourage this curiosity while helping them understand the world around them, and their place in it. Sure, The Very Hungry Caterpillar might not seem like it educates kids much, but think of all the new foods they are learning to pronounce and associate images with!


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importance of reading to children

4.  Reading aloud to your kids solidifies your bond.

It may sound hokey, but we are all guilty at one time or another of bad prioritization, and don’t always carve out enough time in our day to spend with our loved ones. Starting a habit of reading to your kid daily quite simply shows them you care, that they are an important part of your day, and that spending time with them is something you cherish and enjoy. So remember to keep that smile plastered on your face as you read their favorite pop-up book for the 100th time.

5.  Reading aloud to you kids encourages a love of reading.

I don’t need to quote statistics at you here, because I’m living proof of this. Not only can I remember my favorite book from childhood – Fantastic Mr. Fox – I know that my mother reading it to me got me started on the rest of Roald Dahl’s books. And I just didn’t stop. We went from shorter books with large words on the page, to stories like The Hobbit. I don’t need to wonder where I got my love of fantasy from; my mother reader gave me all the building blocks I needed to start living in my own head.

If you can find stories your kids love, keep up with the theme, whether it’s the same author or a similar story. If your kids express a love of something, anything, you can nurture this with a book. Sure, it might be hard to find a children’s book on architecture, but there’s got to be one out there somewhere. If not, maybe you can write one together.


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Which books do your children enjoy? Do you read to your kids every day?

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