The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children
The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 by Andilynn Feddeler

Taking 20 minutes at the end of the day to sit down and read aloud to children can help develop their communication skills, emotional intelligence, and vocabulary retention, among many other benefits. Not only does reading a book together allow for additional parent-child bonding, but it also prepares children for classroom learning and interactions with others. Studies have shown that kids whose parents read to them hear up to 1.4 million more words than kids who don’t—a gap large enough to set some students apart from others when it comes to comprehension rates and literacy.

This variability is much more prominent in vocabulary words than in conversational words, because books often introduce phrases and situations that children are unlikely to encounter in real life. But knowing a few extra vocabulary words can push children onto a path of higher learning and emotional development, in addition to recognizing regular, conversational words for everyday use.

When children hear words aloud and connect them to the pictures and print on the page, they begin to see the importance of language and how it all relates to real-world objects and emotions. Looking to the pictures in a book for visual clues strengthens the part of the brain that deals with visual imagery and word meaning. Starting off when children are very young establishes a routine of reading every day, and jumpstarts the process of developing literacy without much extra work. There are thousands of picture books well suited for reading aloud to children that will bring families closer together and enhance children’s literary comprehension and abilities.

Many picture books also offer up strong, courageous role models that children look up to and aspire to be like. No matter how short a book is, it will often show character development and growth that anyone can learn from. And, when kids latch onto a specific book or character, it can be a great way to recognize their interests and needs.