9 Benefits of Reading to Children

Have you ever wondered how reading benefits your children?
The study by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in State Government Victoria shows that there is an important role for parents in the development and educational performance of their children.
"Parental reading to children increases the child’s reading and other cognitive skills at least up to the age of 10–11. This is an early-life intervention that seems to be beneficial for the rest of their lives."
The benefits of reading are without a doubt limitless and some of them are more important than others, although the line is fine.
Below are the top benefits that experts find crucial for children’s healthy development.
1. Bonding
Reading to your child creates a great bonding experience and gives them a sense of intimacy and wellbeing. Reading provides parents with an opportunity to have a regular and shared event that both parent and child can look forward to. Furthermore, it provides children with feelings of attention, love, and reassurance.
2. Exercising our brain
Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens the brain's connections and builds NEW connections.
3. Improved language skills.
Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.
4. Teaching children about the world around them
Through reading a variety of books, children learn about people, places, cultures, and events outside of their own experience. They get exposed to other ideas and beliefs which open their minds to of realities than their own.
5. Great fun activity
Your child learns early that reading is fun and not a chore. When your child grows up, you will not be stressed about getting them to read as reading has become an enjoyable habit to them.
6. Relaxed body and calm mind
This is an important point because these days we seem to have forgotten how to relax and especially how to be silent.
The constant movement, flashing lights and noise which bombard our senses when we’re watching TV, looking at a computer or playing an electronic game are actually quite stressful for our brains.
When we read, we read in silence and the black print on a white page is much less stressful for our eyes and brains.
7. Developing empathy
When we read a book, our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. This allows us to develop empathy as we experience the lives of other characters and can identify with how they are feeling. Children can then use this understanding to empathise in the real world with other people. Additionally, children will gain a greater understanding of emotions, which can help them understand their own emotions and those of others. This helps dramatically with their social development.
8. More extensive vocabulary
Hearing words spoken aloud can expose your children to a range of new vocabulary and phrases that they may not have heard otherwise. By reading to a child daily they’ll learn new words every single day.

9. Greater concentration
Regular and consistent reading can help to improve a child’s concentration abilities. It will also help them learn to sit still and listen for long periods of time, which will benefit them in their schooling.

Do you have any Bookstart books in your home? Recently, we did the charming book "Quiet!" by Kate Alizadeh as a bilingual, audio-enabled book. Use it to go on your own sound-journey through your home with your little ones, inspiring them to read and listen and... be quiet!

Cover image of Quiet! in English with Kurdish Sorani