Reading a book with your child can often coincide with the end of the childcare day, the moment when you’d rather reach for a glass of wine than a book you feel you have read surely, at least 200 times. You have just got them out of the bath (and all the trauma that entails) settled them with a nice warm drink, but there is just one more hurdle before bedtime and some peace – the book choices! Reading with children can feel like a chore at times, but 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 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 matter….not to mention magic, myth and make believe.
- 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 readings skills age by 12 months
- Specific areas of the brain are stimulated when are read to home from an early age and 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, putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, or putting themselves in 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 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.
- ..and what’s even nicer is that you get to deliver the story and enjoy some dedicated, happy down-time together.
Reading together has many tangible and intangible benefits and can be a very rewarding part of yours and your child’s day. Our own book ‘Thumbs Up for Ted’s Thumbsie’ is a happy and encouraging story about giving up thumb sucking which is designed for help a child to stop sucking easily. 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 a gentlest hero of thumb sucking.