Reading to your child is one of the most important things you’ll ever do for them. The benefits of reading to children are endless as their sponge-like brains soak in everything around them. During story time, a child’s mind is at work as they take in the story, the pictures, and the lessons the characters learn. At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we’ll explain why reading to your child is critical and starts them on a lifelong journey of education through books.
Reading stimulates the part of a child’s brain that helps them understand language and builds literacy and social skills. From an early age, their brain absorbs the words and tries to process them. Even at a young age, their brains begin to connect visual imagery with words. They often receive needed skills for auditory learning without knowing it. The descriptions in books often go much further than our speaking descriptions in everyday life. No matter if you’re reading a children’s book or a long novel, the language of a book helps children use formal grammatical structures without knowing it.
Boosts Imagination and Creativity
Like a book filled with adventure, children’s imaginations are endless. When we read aloud to our children, they use their imaginations to explore the story. They go beyond their own experiences to think about the characters, the times, and the events. Their imagination grows with each book. Your child can dream bigger and put their dreams into creativity. Their artwork often stems from things they’ve learned in books.
Builds A Love of Language
At just a few months of age, infants can look at pictures while listening to a reader and even point to objects on the page. They may not even know they’re learning to love language, but they’ll love the sound of words and stories. Reading aloud to kids helps stimulate their imagination, helping them understand the world. They’ll start to develop listening and language skills to help better understand the written words in books. The melody and rhythm of language help a child learn to read as naturally as they learn to walk and talk.
Learn Life Lessons Through Books
Life lessons are often a hard thing to teach young children. Books and stories provide the perfect opportunity to have discussions about real-world situations. No matter the child’s age, they often enjoy books about children their age. Reading books to children on targeted subjects can often help them not feel as alone. They can learn to take on new things like losing a pet, moving into a new home, or going to the potty.
Taking Time To Absorb The Stories
After reading a book, it’s often second nature to ask a child what they think about the story. Don’t be surprised if it takes them time to respond. At times, a child may need time to absorb the meaning and messaging of a story. Books and characters become so real to them that they need to concentrate on the characters and the meaning of the stories. It’s like watching the magic of books work right in front of your eyes as your child digs into the story. This is the perfect time to ask questions and determine what they’re learning from the stories.
Preparing for Academic Success
The statistics on reading to your child state that children who read at least 20 minutes a day are exposed to almost two million words per year. Reading opens the pages to success through exposure to new words and the growth of vocabulary skills. Children develop specific skills from hearing someone read to them. The more words children learn, the stronger their language skills. By the time they reach kindergarten, they’re often more prepared to read. This type of early success follows them throughout the educational journey, preparing them each step of the way towards academic success.
Early Reading Skills Essential For Development
The five early reading skills essential for development include:
- Phonics –Connecting written language letters with spoken language sounds.
- Phonemic Awareness –The ability to identify, hear, and play with spoken words’ individual sounds.
- Vocabulary –To communicate effectively, children need a solid base of words.
- Reading Comprehension –Understanding the stories and words on a page.
- Fluency –The ability to quickly and accurately read a story or text.
Children learn literacy skills and further language development in elementary school, but it’s important to start this journey by reading to them as early as possible. They won’t be able to practice phonics and fluency at a young age, but they can get a grip on understanding vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Develop A Special Bond Through Reading
Reading to kids daily helps form a strong bond through story time. One of the most important things to a child is spending time with their loved ones. They crave this structure and love. Reading to a child provides the perfect opportunity for a routine time where they connect with you and a book. Your child learns to trust and expect you’ll be there at that time to share that moment. A child often feels a sense of well-being and intimacy, stimulating positive growth and development.
Increases Concentration and Discipline
You may notice during reading time that your child doesn’t squirm as much as usual. It’s common for toddlers and babies to run around the room and squirm while you struggle to get them to settle down. Once you begin a reading routine, they suddenly listen intently for the duration of the story. Not only are they learning reading comprehension and bonding with the reader, but they’re also learning about stronger self-discipline and longer attention spans. This might not happen at first, but it will over time. Children often love to see where the story is going. They’ll sit in wonder as the story unfolds.
Creates A Lifelong Love of Reading
If you’ve ever read a book from cover to cover because it’s simply too good to put down, you understand the love of reading. When we read to children, we’re sending a message of pleasure to their brains. They find the joy and excitement in a story unfolding in front of their eyes. They often find a sense of love connected with reading as they go through life. Children don’t understand when you’re reading to them as a child on your lap that they’ll find this same adventure in a book decades later. The same child you read to as a toddler grows into the child who reaches for multiple books years later in the library. Starting a child’s love of reading early puts the wheels of motion that they’ll always find adventure in a book.
Contact Lionheart Children’s Academy
Lionheart Children’s Academy believes in a strong base of reading. We love to teach children through reading and playtime. Our nurturing and welcoming environment encourages books and stories throughout the day. We welcome infants up to children 12 years of age to our preschool, before school and after school program. Our fully-licensed early learning center is devoted to instilling the love of reading and learning in children at a young age. We want them to have a great time playing and socializing and get a solid base for educations at the same time. Contact us today to learn more about our premier preschool and child care services.