15 Benefits of Reading to Children: Reasons to Read! (2023)

One of the most powerful things you can do for your child is to read with them.

Reading has numerous benefits for children, including a positive effect on development, communication, and school performance.

We’ve put together why reading is so important for children, and some great book ideas to get started.

Table of Contents

  • When Should You Start Reading To Children?
  • The Benefits of Reading to Children
  • Book Recommendations for Kids

When Should You Start Reading To Children?

Even when your baby is a newborn, it’s a great time to introduce reading. Here are some of the reasons why (1):

  • It gives you another bonding opportunity for snuggles and interaction.
  • Your child will be preparing, even when they don’t know it, for reading on their own someday.
  • It can help your baby develop language skills.
  • They’ll pick up on a variety of emotions.

15 Benefits of Reading to Children: Reasons to Read! (1)

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The Benefits of Reading to Children

Here are some of the ways your child can benefit from reading.

1. Language Neural Connections

The neural connections in the brain are fueled by listening to someone reading so your child will get a vocab boost just by hearing you read. Listening to reading is shown to increase a baby’s receptive vocabulary (2). Receptive vocabulary means the words they understand.

2. Cognitive Development

When you’re reading to them, your child will pick up on the cognitive perks — they’ll start to take in what you’re saying and they’ll learn things about numbers, colors, shapes, animals, or anything else you’re reading about.

(Video) Tip #15 Benefits of Reading to Your Children

They’ll start to understand cause and effects, and their logical thinking ability will be more developed.

3. Fosters a Strong Relationship

The family that reads together stays together. It gives you two one more way to spend time bonding. You’ll have a lot of ways already, but there’s something especially relaxing about reading time.

Because you’re actively doing something, you won’t be able to concentrate on anything else but you and your baby. When you’re reading, there’s no way you’ll be able to surf your phone — you’ll be totally engaged in the moment. That’s good news for both you and your baby in terms of bonding.

4. Simply Fun

Having fun can be a benefit all on its own. It can cut down on the stress a child feels — and yes, children can have stress too, just like adults can.

Time spent having fun can lead to better sleep, more positive feelings, and even stronger relationships (3).

5. Calming Influence

Young children aren’t exactly known for being calm — especially when you want them to be. It seems they have a knack for getting wound up right when you most want them to wind down, like at bedtime.

Reading can help them calm down so you can both get some sleep. You may want to start a half-hour before bedtime. Tuck them in, dim the lights a bit, and read to them in a softer soothing voice.

6. Improves Communication

If you want to have a close relationship with your children where you can talk about anything that’s on your mind, reading is a good place to start.

When you read to your children, you do more than just say the words printed on the page. You interact — you ask them questions, they ask you some. You discuss how the people in the book are feeling and anything else that crosses your mind or your child’s mind.

That’s how communication grows — by sharing those little moments and building trust and conversation so eventually, you’ll be able to broach those bigger subjects.

7. Better Performance in School

Even the act of reading to your child can set them up for better grades in school. It doesn’t matter if they don’t understand the words you’re telling them yet. Early learning experiences like reading to your child will enhance their school performance (4).

They’ll learn to love reading or at least realize it’s important, and reading is a skill they’ll use in every subject they tackle in school.

(Video) Why we all need to start reading aloud to our kids | Keisha Siriboe | TEDxWanChai

8. Lengths Attention Span

So much of today’s world is working against our desire to help our children develop their attention spans. With video games, cell phones, and tablets, it can be hard to get a child to stick with something that takes a little more attention and dedication than they’re used to.

Reading is something that’s slower-paced than what your child is used to. And that’s a good thing in today’s click-bait world.

Pro Tip

If they are introduced at an earlier age to books and reading, it won’t be as much of a shock to their system. They’ll be used to the process and their attention spans will benefit from it.

9. Better Listeners

When your child doesn’t know how to read yet, their only clues about what’s happening in a book are the pictures they see and the words they hear you say.

You’re opening up a whole new world to them with the tale you’re spinning and they will be listening carefully, even when you don’t think they are. You’ll realize just how observant kids are someday when you’re trying to have a private conversation with your spouse or friend and suddenly realize your child is eavesdropping on every word you say!

Having that quiet time with you now will get them accustomed to listening instead of just being silent.

10. Builds Imagination

Have you ever watched a movie version of a book you’ve read and been disappointed because it wasn’t quite how you’d envisioned it when you were reading the book? That’s your imagination at work.

Your child’s imagination can be unlocked by activities such as unsupervised play and reading. They get sucked into a make-believe world and they feel like they are part of the action. They imagine how they would feel or act if they were thrust into the situations the main characters find themselves in.

And for some children, reading a book makes them imagine their own tales. Most writers were first hardcore readers before they wrote a word of their own (5).

11. Raises IQ

Reading comprehension is kind of like having a superpower. It gives you the ability to understand complicated questions.

Remember those dreaded word problems in school when you were doing math? Those ones you had to use all your concentration on just to figure out how to compute what they were asking you for? Reading comprehension made solving those possible.

(Video) Why we should all be reading aloud to children | Rebecca Bellingham | TEDxYouth@BeaconStreet

The way to answer a problem correctly is to first fully understand what it’s asking, and that’s what reading comprehension can do for you.

12. Improves Critical-Thinking Skills

It’s not enough just to listen to the words of a book to improve this skill though. You and your child will have to put in more effort than that.

The key isn’t just to actively listen to the tale, your child has to attempt to understand what they are reading or hearing to get the most out of the book. Encouraging your young child to do that may seem difficult, but all you have to do to get them started is to ask questions. One of the questions, for instance, can be what the main character should do to get themselves out of the jam they might find themselves in.

13. Helps Develop Empathy

If there is one thing this world needs more of, and one thing experts say children are losing, it’s empathy (6). Empathy is how well your child can understand someone else’s feelings.

To help develop their empathy, you can get books that will aid their ability to relate to other people and what they might be going through. There are a lot of books geared toward inclusion and how being bullied can make someone feel.

To assist with their empathy, you can ask questions while you are reading the book about how your child would feel if they were the main character. If they had a potty training accident, for instance, you can ask them if they would be sad or embarrassed.

14. Builds Coping Skills

Seeing how other people deal with their emotions can help your child learn to handle their own. They can learn important coping skills from reading or being read to.

Point out when a character is mad, sad, or disappointed. Show them the picture in the book that allows them to see that expression on the character’s face. That will help them recognize the emotion as well as figure out ways to deal with it.

15. Helps Through Life Stages

Life stages like potty training or transitioning to kindergarten is scary stuff for a young kid. I still remember being terrified to attend kindergarten. Books can help children who are going through these stages feel braver and ready to tackle a new challenge.

Book Recommendations for Kids

When you’re looking for books for your child, you need to not just consider the type of interests they have, but also their reading level. If you find books that are too hard for them to tackle, they’ll lose interest quickly and it will add to their frustration.

Here is how you can determine if the level will be good for your child:

  • Most children’s books have the reading level listed on the front or back cover.
  • Look at how difficult the words are. If you’ve been listening to your child read, you should be able to tell if they’ll be able to handle it.
  • Use an app to help you determine the level. With apps, like Literacy Leveler, you just scan in the ISBN code on the book, and you can look up the reading level online.
  • Ask for recommendations from teachers, fellow parents, and librarians.
  • Use the Accelerated Reader website to find out the difficulty level of a book.

Good Ideas for Babies

  • Books Ideas for 1-Year-Olds
  • Book Ideas for 2-Year Olds

Book Ideas for Toddlers

Looking for more ideas for your toddler? Read our in-depth guides:

  • Interactive Books Recommendations
  • Books Ideas for 3-Year-Olds
  • Book Ideas for 4-Year Olds

Book Ideas for Preschoolers

Want more ideas for preschoolers? Check out these great reads by age group:

(Video) Top 7 Benefits of Reading to your Child | Why should you Read Aloud to your child

  • Books Ideas for 4-Year-Olds
  • Book Ideas for 5-Year Olds
  • Book Ideas for 6-Year Olds

Book Ideas for Elementary School Children

Want more ideas for elementary school kids? Check out our guides!

  • Books Ideas for 7-Year-Olds
  • Book Ideas for 8-Year Olds
  • Book Ideas for 9-Year Olds
  • Book Ideas for 10-Year Olds
  • Book Ideas for 11-Year Olds
  • Book Ideas for 12-Year Olds
  • Book Ideas about Friendship

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FAQs

What are 10 reasons you should read? ›

  • 10 Reading Reasons.
  • Reading is rewarding.
  • Reading builds a mature vocabulary.
  • Reading makes you a better writer.
  • Reading is hard, and "hard" is necessary.
  • Reading makes you smarter.
  • Reading prepares you for the world of work.
  • Reading well is financially rewarding.

What are the 7 reasons to read books? ›

Reading can help you relax and reduce stress. Reading can help prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia from progressing. Reading can make you a better writer. Reading can improve your vocabulary.

What are 3 reasons why reading is important? ›

Top 5 Reasons to Read Books Daily
  • Reading Improves Brain Function. A person who reads everyday gets better at it over time. ...
  • Reading Reduces Stress. Modern life is stressful – period. ...
  • Reading Can Improve Your State of Mind. ...
  • Reading Improves Overall Wellness. ...
  • Reading Aloud to Children Has a Lasting Impact.
28 Sept 2018

Why is it important to read? ›

Reading is Essential and serves as a basic building block for learning, regardless of the school subject, be it language arts or even math. In daily life, the need to read things such as street signs or prescriptions proves reading is also an important life skill. 2. Reading Strengthens the Brainand improves memory.

Why should kids read every day? ›

By reading together every day, you stimulate and strengthen your child's language and literacy skills. It is that simple. By reading and talking with your child each day, you bond with them and model the love of reading, which will benefit them in school and throughout life.

What are the 5 benefits of books? ›

Research shows that regular reading:
  • improves brain connectivity.
  • increases your vocabulary and comprehension.
  • empowers you to empathize with other people.
  • aids in sleep readiness.
  • reduces stress.
  • lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
  • fights depression symptoms.
  • prevents cognitive decline as you age.

What are the 5 benefits of studying? ›

Benefits of Education are Societal and Personal
  • Poverty Reduction.
  • Connecting Across Borders.
  • Sense of Accomplishment.
  • More Productivity.
  • Better Communication.
  • Critical Thinking Skills.
  • Identification of Skills.
  • Greater Sense of Discipline.

Why you should read every day? ›

Reading every day makes sure that you're constantly exposing yourself to new potentials for change, and building your knowledge base. The more time you spend reading and learning, the faster you'll be able to connect new concepts and spot patterns. So, there you have it.

Why reading is good for your brain? ›

READING CAN IMPROVE OUR MEMORY. When you read, you're engaging more than a few brain functions, such as phonemic awareness, visual and auditory processes, comprehension, fluency, and more. Reading jolts your brain into action, maintains concentration, and allows your mind to process the events happening before you.

How do books help students? ›

Books help us to teach ourselves about history, the arts, science, religion, nature, mathematics, and technology –– anything and everything in our universe and beyond. Books also help us to understand the effect that all those things have on us and our world. Books entertain and offer a great escape.

Is reading important for students? ›

It helps children learn to make sense not only of the world around them but also people, building social-emotional skills and of course, imagination. “Reading exposes us to other styles, other voices, other forms, and other genres of writing.

What is the value of reading? ›

Reading may also lead to a better, more balanced life. What happens when students read? They train their brains, in essence. They are mentally stimulated, acquire knowledge and ideas, reduce stress in their lives, improve their vocabularies and memory, and develop keener analytical skills.

What are the benefits of reading PDF? ›

Reading will help a child grasp abstract concepts more easily and develop their logical thinking skills. Through exposure to patterned narratives, they will learn to recognise cause and effect.

What are the 6 purposes of reading? ›

Fredrika (2002), the category of purpose for reading includes are: reading to search for simple information, reading to skim quickly, reading to learn from text, reading to integrate information, reading to write, reading to critique texts and reading for general comprehension.

What is the importance of reading 200 words? ›

The Importance of Reading Essay 200 Words –

It not only gives knowledge but also inspires to uncover good thoughts. Not all but there are still some people who like to read. When you get used to reading, your mind becomes sharper and more active than others. Good reading always benefits you.

What is power of reading? ›

The Power of Reading helps to develop inference and deduction and comprehension skills. It also involves children regularly writing in different genres and creates a more cohesive learning experience. • Literacy is at the heart of the curriculum and the texts facilitate a range of exciting cross curricular work.

Why is early reading important? ›

Early reading ignites creativity, sparks curiosity, and stimulates the imagination in young children. Often, this leads to role-play as children grow which helps to develop other skills such as empathy, problem-solving, and morality.

What are the reasons for reading? ›

Reading is of great value because it provides the means by which you get to:
  • Strengthens Brain Activity. Reading gets your mind working across different areas. ...
  • Boosts communication skills. ...
  • Helps Self-Exploration. ...
  • Makes One Intellectually Sound. ...
  • Entertains. ...
  • Imparts Good Values. ...
  • Enhances creativity. ...
  • Lowers Stress.

Why is it important to read? ›

Reading is Essential and serves as a basic building block for learning, regardless of the school subject, be it language arts or even math. In daily life, the need to read things such as street signs or prescriptions proves reading is also an important life skill. 2. Reading Strengthens the Brainand improves memory.

What is purpose of reading? ›

Purpose of Reading. Some of the reasons why people usually read: Pleasure and enjoyment. Practical application. To obtain an overview.

Why should students read? ›

Reading enhances knowledge by exercising the brain and causing it to think more, therefore enhancing intelligence. This helps students to study subjects with more ease and retain the knowledge received from the subject, making them more knowledgeable.

What are the 6 purposes of reading? ›

Fredrika (2002), the category of purpose for reading includes are: reading to search for simple information, reading to skim quickly, reading to learn from text, reading to integrate information, reading to write, reading to critique texts and reading for general comprehension.

What is the importance of reading 200 words? ›

The Importance of Reading Essay 200 Words –

It not only gives knowledge but also inspires to uncover good thoughts. Not all but there are still some people who like to read. When you get used to reading, your mind becomes sharper and more active than others. Good reading always benefits you.

What is the value of reading? ›

Reading may also lead to a better, more balanced life. What happens when students read? They train their brains, in essence. They are mentally stimulated, acquire knowledge and ideas, reduce stress in their lives, improve their vocabularies and memory, and develop keener analytical skills.

What is power of reading? ›

The Power of Reading helps to develop inference and deduction and comprehension skills. It also involves children regularly writing in different genres and creates a more cohesive learning experience. • Literacy is at the heart of the curriculum and the texts facilitate a range of exciting cross curricular work.

Why reading is good for your brain? ›

READING CAN IMPROVE OUR MEMORY. When you read, you're engaging more than a few brain functions, such as phonemic awareness, visual and auditory processes, comprehension, fluency, and more. Reading jolts your brain into action, maintains concentration, and allows your mind to process the events happening before you.

What do you mean by reading? ›

Reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation. Learn how readers integrate these facets to make meaning from print. Reading is making meaning from print. It requires that we: Identify the words in print – a process called word recognition.

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