15 Reasons Why You Should Read Aloud to Young Kids
The partner and I love to read (although we differ in genre preferences) so it was not surprising why we instilled our daughter’s love for reading early on. She was about six months old when we reading to her and, boy, were we in for a surprise.
Not quite convinced? Here are our proven reasons why being able to read aloud to young kids can be very beneficial:
1) Reading enhances their memory.
Most of the books we read aloud had a rhymes in them. Reading aloud just makes the rhythm of the stories even more obvious. When our daughter started to talk, we were amazed to find out how much she remembers from her books. Those stories, by the way, were read to her at least twice a week for the next six months (and counting).
2) Reading widens their vocabulary.
Cavort in a bog?* I’m pretty sure these words do not make it into regular conversation at all. Some books surprise us with their big words (yes, even for adults) but more so when our daughter retains them and uses it at home. (English is not our first language, FYI.)
3) It improves their reading skills.
Our daughter’s first board book was Dr. Seuss’ ABC*, which I believe was the reason why she was able to recognize all her letters at 18 months or so. And that was natural learning, no coercion, no spoon-feeding – just plain reading aloud.
4) It introduces them to new worlds.
Aside from its rhymes, another reason why we love Dr. Seuss books is that his books are full of eccentric characters whose names can be a little hard on the tongue but are perfect for beginning readers. If you’re not yet familiar with it, try reading There’s A Wocket in My Pocket* – it’s our new favorite!
5) Reading encourages their imagination.
A bird that comes out of the book and flies and sings into the night. I chose The House in the Night* particularly for its beautiful illustrations, helping encourage children to not be scared of the night and the dark. The book is also a Caldecott Awardee.
6) It teaches proper pronunciation, diction and enunciation.
How else would you be able to learn the proper pronunciation of words without reading it aloud? I’m sure many of us bookworms become surprised to find out certain words are pronounce differently than how we had read them in our minds.
7) It makes them feel more secure.
Reading aloud to young kids often come with cuddles and hugs. What else is more beautiful than being able to end each day that way? Guess How Much I Love You is a recommended bedtime story that you could end with lots of hugs and kisses.
8) It fosters a loving and caring environment.
Being able to read aloud to your kids simply sends them the message that you are and will always be there for them no matter what. Plus, when books talk about love and hugs and kisses, we share that as we read the story, too.
9) It provides a great bonding experience.
When the partner and I are both at home, reading sessions with our daughter often happen more than once every day. These short moments encourage parents to drop everything at least for a while and focus more on reading as a family. The partner and I also take turns in reading and I am often amazed at the different voices I use (which I’m sure I’ll never let anyone else hear.)
10) It teaches things beyond reading.
Reading aloud to our daughter has proven itself very effective in teaching number recognition and counting*, fine motor skills*, texture*, shapes* and color* recognition, among many others. Recognizing body parts* and singing and dancing* are also part of the learning process.
11) It shows them stories in greater detail.
We are still far from being able to read aloud lengthy chapter books with our toddler but I know for a fact how much more detailed a story can be in the book than in the movie. I mean, how else can you compress the longest Harry Potter book* of 870 pages to just 138 minutes, making it the second shortest film in the entire franchise.
12) It gives them a new pastime.
If you would rather have your kids stay away from the digital world, then introduce them to books as early as possible. The daughter can be left with books for a few minutes at a time (toddler attention span is still really short) – just enough to allow us to finish a few chores at home or to wrap up a blog post.
13) It allows the family to share a common passion.
We started reading aloud to our daughter as early as we could because we made sure to instill that love for reading in her, since we are also book lovers ourselves. If you, your spouse or both of you are not to keen on the written word then perhaps you could start it out now – together with your kid!
14) It encourages them to seek for greater knowledge.
The biggest advantage when you start to read aloud to young kids? It opens up doors for them leading them to even greater knowledge. Eventually, your kids will start reading things that will interest them and there will be no need to force them to learn things because they will be the one to seek just that.
15) One more thing…
I was stumped on a 15th reason when I realized: reading helps you learn a new language! We are not native English speakers (although it’s an official language here in the Philippines) and reading has been a great way to encourage our daughter to speak English without having to coerce her into learning her words.
How else has reading aloud helped your kids?
About the Author
Pam is an outdoors-loving millennial momma who loves to hike, trek and camp in the beaches and mountains with her partner and their 3-year-old daughter. When not exploring the great outdoors, she moonlights as a freelance writer specializing in the travel, parenting, personal finance and digital marketing niches. You can also follow her via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!