Reading at any age opens the mind to a world of possibilities. Reading at a young age cultivates habits that lead to future growth and life success. There are many reasons to read as an adult, but for children, learning to adjust to a daily reading schedule and expanding their knowledge have positive effects seen in their earliest years.


General Benefits of Reading to Children

  • Improving language skills
  • Developing a bond with the child
  • Improving imagination and creativity
  • Cognitive development


In the first years of life, a baby’s brain grows more rapidly than at any other time in their life. This growth is one of the key reasons why reading matters and why reading to your baby as early as possible is so important. The benefits of reading to children at different ages impact emotional and intellectual learning, so it’s never too early to start.


The Benefits of Reading to Your Newborn Baby


When you spend time reading to your newborn baby, you get precious time smelling their perfect little head, and your baby gets the benefit of time spent close to you, hearing your voice, and becoming familiar with words and sounds. A study found that babies who are read to every day are exposed to over 78,000 words each year, so from birth to 5 years of age, that is about 1.4 million words during story time.


Tips for Reading to a Newborn:


  • Cuddle while you read – get close!
  • Point to pictures and make comments
  • Turn off the phone and TV
  • Encourage your baby to touch the book and turn pages as they get older


The Benefits of Reading to a Toddler


Giving your child a firm foundation in literacy for their developing years is one of the key reasons why reading matters even at an early age. One of the benefits of reading to toddlers is to help them develop a large vocabulary of words. Between the ages of 1 and 3, toddlers begin to connect the words you are reading to the pictures and marks on the page. While they cannot formulate the words on their own at this point of their journey, they are making huge leaps in learning about letters, shapes, colors, and other new discoveries during this time. They might even be learning to share reading time with a new sibling.


Tips for Reading to a Toddler:


  • Let your child pick out the book
  • With repetitive phrases, let your child finish the sentence
  • Let them choose their favorites over and over (and over!)
  • Talk about the pictures and ask questions


The Benefits of Reading to Young Children


Experts recommend reading to your child at least 30 minutes a day from birth to set their educational advantage as they enter kindergarten. As your child develops and expands their vocabulary and word recognition, they can participate more in the story – finishing sentences, answering questions, and imagining what will happen next in the story. As they become more independent in reading their favorite books, celebrate their accomplishments and challenge them to include other books in their daily reading that will expand their skills.


Tips for Reading to Young Children:

  • Be consistent – save time every day for reading together
  • Make it fun
  • Point out connections between characters and your child
  • Uninspired by books today? Tell stories!


Understanding why reading matters is one of the key differences in our programs at Rising Stride Child Care Centers. Not sure how to introduce the benefits of reading to the children in your home? Visit us and schedule a tour – we love to share our love of reading!