Reading to your children is not only an enjoyable way to pass the time but actually carries so many more benefits. We’ve implemented a strong routine into our children life, whereby reading is included daily. Not only is it an enjoyable pastime but it carries so many other benefits for both you and your child to reap the rewards of.
Reading to babies and young children can aid their develop and help boost their vocabulary and reading skills as they continue to grow and develop. Also, by implementing this from a young age it helps with their language and social skills and opens the door to their imagination. There has also been research carried out to suggest it that it helps boost their brains development and aids their education in the future – which lets be honest is what we all want for our kids.
For us personally, it also offers a special dedicated time to interact with our kids. By having this within their evening routine, we are widening their vocabulary by reading a wide range of books, sparking their imagination by bringing the books to life with character voices and emotions and opening the door for conversation about the story and all that has been learned from it, or discussing the pictures, shapes or colours.
The reason, we do this so often is for a range of reasons.
It’s Strengthens Your Routine
By having a bedtime story we have a solid routine in place that is easily transferable. This ensures that when we go on holiday or the kids go for a sleep over, by carrying the action off a bedtime story their routine is not disturbed and the sleep that they (and us) are accustomed too is not impacted. It also makes our bedtime routine enjoyable and less stressful. By having this as the last action before lights off, we are helping are children relax, calm down and naturally easy themselves in the transition of relaxing and preparing to sleep.
It Boosts Your Bond
Whether you are reading to your baby, toddler or older children, reading together or to them is an amazing way to strengthen the bond you have with them. Of course there are other ways to bond with your children such as completing salt dough crafts, conversations, and family days out. But, to me, reading it a lovely way to have physical closeness of snuggling up, reading a book together and having that special time together. Before Tilly was born, I was worried about how Evan would cope with a new sibling, but by consistently making this time to engage in an activity we both love on a daily basis has really helped in showing him that he is still special and this time will always be made for him.
Sparks Their Imagination
Today it can be so easy for children to get caught up in technology and TV. I know from my experience that even with the best intentions and will in the world, TV and tech still plays a large part in their up bringing. Of course, this won’t be eradicated but it can cause other aspects of their childhood to possibly fall to the side line. By reading, I have found that Evan’s imagination especially (as Tilly is still a newborn), has continued to grow from strength to strength and that he embraces imagination play more and more. This stories spark his imagination to run wild and with a few carefully selected toys we can play knights togethers happily, we can turn the mundane tasks such as shopping into an adventure, making it enjoyable for them and less stressful for you.
Helps With Their Speech
There are few things more exciting as a parent that your child’s first word. And, once they are starting to speak you want to help them with their communication going forward. Reading is a fantastic way to introduce new words to your child and by bringing them into their awareness it will help you child learn a wider range of words and how to properly pronounce the words as well. As a parent it can be quite easy to understand your own child, however, this isn’t always the case for others. By having time set aside to read , you are able to articulate the words clearly and slowly helping your child in the process.
It’s A Great Educational Tool
With children, especially young ones like mine, there is so much to teach them and educated them on. They are still developing so it can be challenging to address certain topics in the right child friendly way. The great thing about reading is, there are books for everything. You are able to utilise the normal and enjoyable task of reading and use this to your advantage. For us, as we have recently had a baby, we read books about the baby in my tummy, we read books about caring for others all to positively show him and teach Evan how he could transition into his roll as a big brother. But, there are so many other aspects that books can for for you. It could be a book around colours, emotions, sharing, having a hair cut, or a sleep over. By using someone else’s words you can apply the lesson in a child friendly way and bring to life to positive outcomes and how they overcame their fears or learnt something new.
These are just some of my favourite reasons we read to our children What do you love about story time with your small ones? Comment below as I’d love to hear.