The Importance of Reading to Your Child
Alainna Hanson


Ready, Set, READ!
There are many benefits to reading to your child. The first five years of a child’s life are crucial to their brain development. Children who are regularly read to see the advantages later in life.


The Best Way to Read
Reading to your child regularly is a great routine to start. However, if you want to get the most out of this time you need to focus on how you are reading to your child. It may get a little frustrating when your child interrupts you every page to ask a question, but this should actually be encouraged! The best way to read to your child is to pause often. Parents should take time to describe the pictures and engage their child by asking open-ended questions. Questions from your child should be allowed and answered. By asking and answering these questions it creates more engagement and makes the child more willing to focus on their parents.

Language Development

Reading exposes children to a vast amount of words. Just like how language skills start to develop before the child is able to speak, literacy skills also develop before actually being able to read. Studies have shown that the amount of words a child is exposed to links to a higher literacy rate, better spelling, and better test scores later in life. Reading allows them to see and learn about things they would not be exposed to in their everyday lives. The types of words in children’s books are also unique because they use words that are not typical in a child’s everyday use. They would not typically hear these words from their parents or television. Children from lower-income working families typically hear significantly fewer words daily. Routinely reading to your child can fill that gap and allow them to start with the same advantage as those in higher-income households.

A Million Word Gap-Ohio State News

Cognitive Development
The largest brain growth occurs between birth and five years old. 85% of the brain’s structure is formed during this time. It is a crucial time to assist your child’s cognitive development. Children who are regularly read to use more description in their day to day speech when telling a story or describing something to others. These children also tend to be more imaginative and creative in their problem solving and day to day activities. Routinely reading to your children promotes reading in their future. Those who read become more well-rounded and cultured individuals because they are exposed to things in the world outside of their own.

Stronger Bonds
Reading has a lot of educational benefits, but it also is a great way to strengthen your relationship with your child. This activity creates a great space for children to become fully engaged with their parents. It allows them to focus and soak in information. Communicating with your child about what you are reading creates a fun, imaginative conversation that will let you and your child utilize your creative minds. You and your child will be able to experience things together outside of your typical day. It’s a great way to see your child grow and learn all while bonding. This precious time spent together will create lasting memories for both you and your child. Libraries are a great resource in our community to engage your child in a multitude of books without cluttering your house or hindering your wallet. So, what are you waiting for? Go get reading! 


“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
-Emile Buchwald