It’s not always easy to find the time, but reading to children is great for both them and you. If you are lucky enough to be able to spend those moments together, it can be incredibly rewarding. With that in mind, we have developed a list of benefits of reading to children that shows why this is such an important aspect of parenting. And there are some handy tips for fitting in a reading session with your offspring too.
The benefits of reading to children
1. It helps develop language
Children are like sponges, particularly when they are little. They soak up language wherever they hear it, so actively reading to your children exposes them to more words that they can learn. They learn the joy of words and how to put words together to make pleasing sentences.
2. It helps them at school
It makes sense that a child with a larger vocabulary will be well placed for school when they get there. In the early reading and writing work in Reception, they can bring the words that they have learnt through reading into the academic arena.
3. It helps you develop a bond
That time you spend together reading is quality one-on-one time. Together, you can take a journey to the magical worlds that your favourite kids’ authors create. It is a great shared experience and provides a bond between you and your child.
4. It helps them relax
Story time doesn’t have to come at the end of the day (see below), but if it does, it is an excellent way to wind down before bed. Children are full of energy, so snuggling up and listening to you tell them a tale can help them relax into a state whereby falling asleep won’t take too long. Hopefully.
5. It helps their creativity
There are so many brilliant books for kids written by amazing creative people. They can open your child’s eyes to the possibility of the imagination and help them access their own creativity. This can lead to them being able to entertain themselves in the future and can even help with problem solving in real life, as they look at challenges from different points of view.
These are some of the benefits of reading to children. So, how can you make it happen when life makes it tough?
How to find the time to read to kids?
You might have a job that keeps you away from home much of the day, a chaotic house where it is difficult to make one-on-one time or you might not live with your child. They are just some of the reasons that make it difficult to read to them regularly. Here are some suggestions for how to sneak in a few minutes of reading.
Take books with you
If you are out with your kids for the day, take a couple of books with you in a bag. You never know when you might have ten minutes to read to them. When you are waiting for the dentist, at a cafe, sitting outside a changing room for your other half. These are all times when you need to entertain your children, so why not do so with a book?
Books aren’t just for bedtime
We tend to connect reading to children with bedtime. Yes, it is a great time to lie on the bed, cuddle up and read, but it isn’t possible for all dads. Also, sometimes kids get really grumpy by bedtime and aren’t going to enjoy the story as much. You could read first thing in the morning if they get up early. Or try reading at meal times. They can listen as they eat.
Something is better than nothing
Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t read a full book to your kids every day. Even if you can manage five minutes, the benefits of reading to children still stand. Do what you can but don’t worry. No one lives in an ideal world. Sometimes it is just difficult.
Have books around the home
The best way to find a few minutes to read here and there is to have books lying around the home. That way, you just need to pick them up and go to enjoy the benefits of reading to children. You don’t need to go up to their room and pick them out.