Reading a book with your child often concludes a tiring day of caring for them. It is the moment when you’d rather reach for a glass of wine rather than a book you feel you must have read at least 200 times! You have just got them out of the bath (along with all the trauma that entails) and settled them with a nice warm drink. But, there is just one more hurdle before bedtime and a bit of peace – choosing the right book…
Reading with children can feel like a chore at times, however, studies show that it is extremely beneficial in many ways.
- Sharing books with your child increases their vocabulary and gives them a wider understanding of the world around them. Reading Harry Potter has even been shown to improve attitudes toward minority groups such as immigrants and refugees.
- Reading from a range of books introduces children to new cultures, countries and subject matters….not to mention magic, myth and make-believe, to broaden their imagination.
- It helps them to be better prepared for school. Even just understanding that words are ordered from left to right, being able to follow them with a finger and turning pages can improve a child’s literacy skills later on.
- Reading to a 4-5 year old every day can improve their average readings skills age by up to 12 months.
- Specific areas of the brain are stimulated when children are read to at home from an early age, these are critical for a child’s language development.
- Reading together improves concentration; a toddler learns to sit and listen which is a crucial skill for starting nursery or full-time school.
- Children learn to use their imagination and emotional intelligence. This allows them to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, or alternatively, immerse themselves into a mythical kingdom, guessing what might come next in the story.
- They learn to ask questions and probe meaning and understanding which aids cognitive development. Although the ‘but, why?’ question can be definitely over used at this stage!
- It’s not screen time. With children as young as two using tablets and watching screens, a good book is a welcome alternative from the electronic babysitter.
- Reading can help you establish a good bedtime routine.
- And the best part…you get to deliver the story yourself and enjoy some dedicated, quality down-time together.
Reading together has many tangible and intangible benefits and can be a very rewarding part of you and your child’s day. Our very own book ‘Thumbs Up for Ted’s Thumbsie’ is a happy and encouraging story about giving up thumb sucking, designed to help children stop sucking, as easily as possible. So, if you have read every book in your local library and want a break from your own bookshelf, order yourself a copy here and read about the gentlest hero of thumb sucking.