Children love when adults take the time to read out loud with them, and most parents are very aware that reading to their children is a very good idea. In fact, the vast majority of parents are doing it: in 2005, about 86 percent of families were reading out loud with their children that were too young for kindergarten. If you’ve got a little one on the way, or are starting to think about teaching your toddler language and developing those speech skills, you might have an interest in reading out loud to your kids. There are a ton of benefits that come from reading out loud to your children, and we’ll talk about five of the most valuable ones.
1. Build a Lifelong Interest in Books. By reading to your kids before they can actually read for themselves, you’ll get them exposed to stories and creativity when their imagination is at its most fertile. The magic of storytelling is something that is very well-suited to the excitable imagination of a child. If you get your little ones started early by reading to them, you’ll be able to foster a lifelong interest in stories and books that will have them growing up to be well-read, intelligent adults.
2. Help with Language and Speech Development. When you read to your little ones, it’s hardly a monolog. Any good parent knows that reading a story with your kids is going to be something of an interactive experience, and this is good for them in a lot of ways. Mostly, it will help them build their linguistic abilities and develop their speech skills as they start to interact with different parts of the English language and the ways they function together.
3. Expand Their Vocabulary, Teach Pronunciation. There are few better ways to learn new words than to hear them used, and if you read to your children you’ll expose them to new words and ideas on a regular basis. Not only will your kids learn new words and new ways to use them, but they’ll know things like pronunciation and context better than they would without your guidance.
4. Understanding of Grammar & Sentence Structure. Reading out loud to your children often and exposing them to a good variety of literature means that you’ll be sharing with them a good amount of different authors and their varying literary voices. The result is a child who’s been exposed to and can easily understand the mechanics of grammar and the way a sentence works.
5. Bonding Time. The best part about reading to your kids is the fact that it’s serious bonding time. Whether you’re reading from second hand fiction books or just the magazines that come in the mail each month — reading to your children means you get to spend quality time, whether you’re consuming high fiction or an issue of Entertainment Weekly. Time spent reading to your kids is always time well spent.