From classic rhymes by Dr. Seuss to the magical world of Harry Potter, books are a crucial part of childhood development. The stories kids hear when they’re young are the ones that they remember most, and reading together with a parent makes them even more memorable.
But reading to your child isn’t just about making memories: here are five benefits of reading to your kids.
They become better readers themselves
Practice makes perfect.
It’s pretty intuitive — if you read to your child consistently, they’ll be more capable of reading on their own. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges doctors to encourage parents to read to their kids to boost their literacy.
It increases their vocabulary
The best way to learn words is to read them.
A study published in the journal of the National Medical Association found that toddlers who participated in a Reach Out and Read literacy program scored higher in receptive vocabulary tests than those who didn’t.
They learn about the world
There are so many children’s books to choose from.
Characters who are culturally, ethnically, and physically diverse teach them about people and cultures that differ from their own. There are also children’s books that can help kids understand and process a range of life events, from the birth of a new sibling to the death of a family member.
They get quality time
Take the time to read them a story.
Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report found that both parents and kids ages six to 11 agree that the top reason they enjoy reading books out loud is that it’s a special time together. Taking even a few minutes to stop what you’re doing, snuggle up together with a book, and read a story sends the message that you love and care about your child.
“In contrast to often either passive or solitary electronic media exposure, parents reading with young children is a very personal and nurturing experience that promotes parent-child interaction, social-emotional development, and language and literacy skills during this critical period of early brain and child development,” writes the AAP.
Scholastic also found that 42% of kids want to read books that will make them laugh, and there’s no shortage of hilarious children’s books out there that fit the bill. Go ahead and feel like a kid again, yourself.