Reading, in general, is good for people, and many individuals enjoy the feeling of holding a physical book in their hands and turning the pages. Reading is a physical, mental, and emotional experience. The same is true when parents and caregivers read aloud to children. Reading to children engages their brain and emotions on many levels and encourages a love of reading.
Below is a list of how reading aloud is beneficial to children:
- Emotional Connection – One of the best reasons to read aloud to children is that it enhances the emotional connection between parent and child. Reading is a way for children to have the individual time with their parents, grandparents, that they desperately need and want. This is also true when elementary school teachers read to their students. When the teacher reads to the class, it’s almost as if the teacher is speaking to the kids one-on-one. Do you have a favorite teacher that read to the class?
- Proper Use of Grammar – Reading aloud to children also gives them clear examples of the English language and how it is used. For example, the reader will pause at the end of a sentence or a comma. The reader will also use emphasis and inflect their voice to show excitement or other feelings that the story is portraying, such as sadness or shock.
- Increased Vocabulary and Inferences – When an adult reads aloud to a child, children hear words that they are not normally exposed to in the daily discussions within the family or school. Not only do kids learn the new vocabulary word, but they also learn what it means within the context of the story. Children often make inferences to help them understand the story. An inference is using what a person knows, along with the contest of the story, to help them understand what is being said, or what is happening between the characters. This does not happen until kids are a bit older, but preschoolers and kindergarteners can make inferences too. Making inferences encourages critical thinking and reading between the lines.
- Nurtures the Imagination – When children are listening to a story, they are forced to actively listen and picture what is happening while the story is read to them. As they listen, they use their imaginations to figure out and picture what is happening in the storyline. Reading aloud to kids forces them to listen actively, thus increasing their attention spans.
- Encourages Reading Comprehension and Overall School Performance – Preschoolers love books and reading time spent with their caregiver. Reading to preschoolers helps develop their attention spans, listening skills and it makes them more inquisitive; all of which are essential skills that they will use when they attend school. According to the SixWise.com, reading aloud to kids helps them become better students in general, in addition to being better readers.
There are many benefits that children experience when they are read to, even if parents and caregivers do not see the immediate results. Reading to children is one of the best things you can do, and both of you will reap priceless rewards.