Reading to Young Children

| | | Reviewed by: Rose Smith

Reading to children early is that it will help their speech, language, and literacy skills. It also builds a sense of confidence and identification with the character they read about. There are many other benefits besides this but if you would like to know more about them then just keep on reading!

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Dr. Seuss

Reading instills important life lessons such as perseverance through adversity or not giving up when faced with difficult challenges. Reading also helps children identify and express their thoughts and feelings, which is important to developing a healthy sense of self. Read aloud to your child and you’ll find yourself strengthening the parent-child bond, too!

However, it can take some effort on the part of parents who feel they don’t have time or are not good at reading aloud to their children. This may be due in part to the fact that many parents don’t think they can do it right or simply feel uncomfortable doing so. However, there are a variety of ways you can read with your child and still have some quality time together without feeling awkward about it!

The best way to read with your child is to be the best you can be. You don’t have to like reading, or think of it as something that comes easy- but if you want your child to enjoy books and learn from them then you need to at least give it a shot!

Benefits of Reading to Children

Benefits of Reading to Children
  • Reading to a child from infancy helps them develop the ability to understand what they read.
  • Kids who are introduced earlier in life tend to be more advanced readers, due to having greater exposure and practice reading early on.
  • Reading can help children with vocabulary development as well, which will lead to better speaking skills.
  • Being read to can help children learn new words and improve their ability to comprehend what they read.
  • Listening to stories also helps shape a young person’s imagination while teaching them important values like empathy or courage. This can have an impact on lifelong personality traits and abilities.

What Should You Read to Your Child?

This is a great question, with no one answer. Reading to children can be done just about anywhere in any situation. Looking at books together on the couch or driving home from school are both perfect moments for reading aloud! There’s also nothing wrong with getting up close and personal while modeling how to read by using expression and inflection.

It is important to read a variety of books, and this is one reason why libraries are so great! Reading nursery rhymes or fairy tales will not give children the same level of literacy skills as reading history stories about people who have lived lives just like theirs. 

Reading aloud to children can also be done anytime, anywhere. Reading on the couch while they lay in your lap is just as good for them as reading a book next to their bedtime! There’s nothing wrong with getting up close and personal when modeling how to read by using expression and inflection either. 

When Should you Start Reading to Your Child?

The best time to start reading aloud is very early on! Parenting experts recommend introducing books when children are just a few months old. Reading out loud and modeling how to read with proper expression will help them develop an ear for language before they even learn the alphabet. 

Reading aloud to kids is beneficial for everyone involved. It’s a great chance to have one on one time with your child, or just get some much-needed peace and quiet without your little ones! Reading aloud also teaches kids important skills they need in order to succeed later in life; things like how to speak properly, appreciate literature and develop into lifelong learners.

Tips for Reading to Children

Tips for Reading to Children
  • Reading interesting books for yourself will also spark your child’s interest.
  • Young children learn best from illustrations and images they can see right in front of them rather than through their imagination. 
  • Avoid Books That Are Too Long or Complicated for Your Child’s Age Range
  • Don’t Read When You’re Tired
  • If You’re Reading to a Small Group, Take Turns
  • Engage and Enjoy Your Child with Each Story
  • Keep the Reading Experience Fun

Reading and patience may not seem like a no-brainer, but one of the most important skills that reading can teach your child is patience! Reading takes time, so it’s important to teach children patience at an early age. In fact, when you are teaching them new words or concepts in reading, encourage them to be patient.

Recommended Read: Reading Head Start

Final Words

Reading to a child, especially from an early age, is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a parent. It’s important for them at this stage in their development because it instills life-changing lessons, reinforces self-confidence, and fosters a love of knowledge that will help prepare them for success in school and when they enter adulthood.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does reading to your child make a difference?

    Children can reap lifelong benefits from reading. Start early and read to them often, so they develop language and literacy skills, a sense of themselves, and acquire life lessons that will last long after childhood.

  2. How does reading help a child’s development?

    Reading aloud to children prompts their imagination and fosters understanding about the world. It also improves speech, language, vocabulary, and literacy skills.

  3. How does reading early instill life lessons?

    Reading is a form of communication that can help kids learn how words are used in context with each other- for example, it can help them understand that “cat” refers to both a pet and an animal. Reading provides opportunities for kids to make predictions about upcoming events in books they’ve read before- like whether or not Nemo will escape from his fishbowl!

  4. How does reading early build strong parent-child bonds?

    Reading builds a sense of confidence in children, as well as their literacy skills. Reading can also provide an opportunity for parents to share in the experience and build bonds with their children more intimately.

  5. How does reading early promote a love of knowledge?

    By getting kids excited about reading, will inspire them to want to learn more- not just about the story they just read, but other subjects as well!

  6. How can I improve my child’s love of reading?

    Read with them every day. And don’t forget to make reading part of life’s routine!


About Amy Smith

Amy, an award-winning journalist with a Master's in Journalism from Columbia University, has excelled for over twelve years, specializing in parenting, pregnancy, nursing, fashion, and health.

Her acclaimed blog, AmyandRose, demonstrates profound expertise shaped by her journey from pregnancy to nurturing a teenager and a toddler. Recognized by several parenting awards, Amy's work has been featured in top-tier health and lifestyle magazines, underscoring her authority in these fields.

Her contributions, grounded in evidence-based research and personal experience, provide invaluable, credible insights for parents navigating the complexities of modern child-rearing and personal well-being.

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