Why is reading to your child so important?

Published on September 23, 2016


The benefits of reading start with the first book a baby hears. Reading to toddlers sets the foundation for later independent reading and gives them the very necessary emergent literacy skills they need. Exposure to reading right from the toddler or preschool-age prevents most reading problems.

Here are the advantages your child can receive by being exposed to reading:

  • Academic excellence – Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all stages of education.
  • Speech – Kids, who read often, gain a hone on reading skills. After all, practice makes you perfect!
  • Better communication – It gives a large vocabulary of words and an insight of how to use them. The child will also develop phonemic awareness and letter identification.
  • Brain stimulation – Reading strengthens brain connections by actually building network of new words.
  • Basics of how to read a book – Children not just learn new words as they read but also unconsciously absorb information about how to structure sentences and how to use words and language effectively.
  • Fundamentals of literacy – Reading introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colours, and shapes in a fun way. As the child approaches school age, he/she will have a better grasp of concepts.
  • Acclimatisation to new experiences – Reading a story dealing with a topic relating to the child’s experience shows him that it’s under norms and familiarises him to the know-hows.
  • Imagination – Reading lets the brain translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. This imagination can greatly influence the child’s development.
  • Emotional development – Read to your child with expression, by changing the pitch of your voice higher or lower where it’s appropriate or using different voices for different characters. When you do this, your child hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development.
  • Cognitive skills – When you read stop once in a while and invite your baby to look, point, touch on the pictures or text. Simultaneously ask questions or make comments on the pictures (‘’Look what a cute kitty. What colour is her dress?’’) – All of this promotes social development and thinking skills.
  • Show that reading is fun – Use rhymes, sounds and actions so your baby gets connected and starts imitating sounds, recognizing pictures, and learning words. Help them view books as an indulgence so at a later stage they don’t take reading as a chore.

Read every day!

Note – Books for babies should have simple, repetitive text and clear pictures.

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