Why reading to children is so important

Why reading to children is so important

There is no more important activity for preparing your child to be a keen reader than reading aloud together. And there is nothing better than that bit of quiet quality one on one (or one on several!) time.  If your children are different ages, try and get one on one time if you can so that each one is stimulated with stories that are appropriate for their ability – not too easy/boring and not too hard to follow!

And on the subject of boring, don’t forget to pick books that you enjoy reading too!  Children will be more engaged if they think you are enjoying it too.  Repeating the same book on diggers can tax even the most patient parent, so encourage them to try and variety of texts.

Teaching and encouraging your child to read is not the responsibility of the school, although clearly that plays a critical part too.  Reading with another family member out of the school environment is just, if not more, important.

Starting early

At just a few months of age, an child will listen to you talking, look at pictures, and start pointing to objects they see in the books. Encourage them to do this, extend this to drawing these objects with them and point at those objects, if possible, in real life.  All this helps the youngster associate words with language and communication.  

But it doesn’t have to be real world content!  Reading books stimulates children’s imaginations and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child’s life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.

Even after children learn to read by themselves, it’s still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers’ understanding and motivate them to improve their vocabulary.

Questions, questions…

Hopefully your child will start asking questions or talk about the story beyond the text itself.  This is stimulating creating thinking and comprehension and should be heartily encouraged!

Oh My Gift sells a range of personalised children’s books to stimulate their enjoyment of reading and story telling.  By including them personally within the story, we hope to encourage them to read even more!  CLICK HERE to view our range of titles.

Chris Herbert