The value of reading to children from a very early age cannot be overestimated. It allows them to develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually. The benefits are present throughout their later lives.
How reading to children helps their intellectual development
Children who are read to have better concentration skills and memory. This helps them learn faster and easier in the future. Thanks to reading, their brain connections develop more rapidly. We cannot understate the fact that they learn a lot about the world from books you read to them and that way they become more curious. Because they gain more knowledge, they also learn to think more critically. They also become more imaginative and creative. Children who often connect pictures to words (that is read children’s books) find it easier to learn to speak and later on also to read and write.
How children’s books help in social and emotional development
Reading books to children helps them succeed in the future. They learn to understand different topics more easily, by examples in the stories. Reading also prepares them to do better at school and in adult life.
Children learn about various emotions from stories in the books. We need to remember that a toddler is learning to understand his or her feelings. This lack of understanding of one’s feelings causes the temper tantrums so typical for this age. Children’s books help the little ones get the hang of what is happening to them. This way they learn how to cope with difficult emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness and so on.
Children hear stories about various heroes and identify with them, which helps them develop empathy. Again, it’s something they need to learn, since small kids are egocentrics. Last, but not least, by reading regularly to our kid, we create an unbreakable bond with the little one, which in itself is invaluable.
Remember that reading is just fun!
Apart from all the gains written above, remember that reading to children is also a pastime and should be fun for both (or all) of you. Reading books to children can start as early as possible (even at 6 months!), because it is way easier to teach a smaller child to read books and keep it this way than to force a schoolchild to do something they don’t really know.
Make sure to check out my fairy stories in the “Tales” section of the blog.