25 May Do we really need to read aloud to our babies, toddlers and children?
Simply put, yes, it is absolutely crucial that we read aloud to our children. We are told very early on that reading to our children is beneficial, but do we really know why?
“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually need to learn to read,” – Marilyn Jager Adams.
Here are a few of the benefits of reading to your child:
- Expands their vocabulary knowledge and develop proper grammar
- Develops and extends comprehension and listening skills
- Extends their attention span
- Strengthens their imagination
- Improves fluency (for their own reading)
- Helps develop tone, rhythm and expression, and teaches them ‘how’ we read
- Brings the fun into reading and helps to create a lifetime interest in reading
- Is a great way of engaging with your child and spending some quality one-on-one time with them
It’s not just about developing reading and language skills…
As parents we need to be reading to our children when they are newborns and continuing well beyond the years that they can read by themselves. There has been much research done, showing that reading to our children helps them learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and ready early themselves. Reading with children who already know how to read helps them to feel close to their parent/s, understand the world around them, better control their behavior in challenging situations and use words to describe their feelings and emotions that might otherwise be difficult.
Don’t stop reading to your independent reader!
There are continued benefits of reading to your child once they know how to read. Even children in the older demographic, love nothing more than being read to and having that special time with Mum or Dad. It’s not very often in this day and age that they get to sit down with us, without TV or iPads or phones and have our complete attention, yet this is something they crave and reading aloud to your child is an activity that helps to build a sense of belonging, love and security.
Reading to your independent reader also helps to improve his or her own reading. You are modeling expression, how to read (use) punctuation correctly, tone, questioning and so much more.
Quick tips when reading to and with your child:
- Have fun and be playful
- Create different character voices to really engage your child
- Help your child to find a book that is suitable for their reading level
- Find a comfy, quiet spot where you won’t be disrupted
- Make it a regular thing
- Make it a special bonding time and a ‘non-negotiable’