The Top 5 Benefits of Reading as a Family

In this fast-paced digital age filled with captivating screens and endless distractions, there remains an extraordinary, timeless power in the simple act of reading books aloud to children. It is a magical experience that transcends generations, igniting their imaginations, nurturing their hearts, and setting their minds ablaze with endless possibilities. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, or caregiver, the act of reading aloud holds profound benefits that extend far beyond the pages of a book.

In this blog, we will embark on a journey to explore the numerous benefits that reading as a family brings to the education and imagination of young children. Let’s dive in!

1. Books = Bonding Time

Perhaps the number one benefit of reading aloud as a family is the special bonding time you’ll share with your kids. When you snuggle up together on the couch and engage in story time, life slows down a little and you’re able to go on a thought-provoking, educational journey without leaving the safety and comfort of your living room.

Reading as a family often sparks meaningful conversations and encourages active participation. By honing in on the social aspect of story time, families benefit from strengthened parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, and overall family dynamics.

Children feel loved and secure when parents read to them, creating a positive association with books and learning. As a bonus, by including read-aloud time into your child’s evening routine, you’re also helping them wind down and mentally prepare for bedtime. (This pays dividends for everyone in the household! Win-win.).

Looking for new ideas on what to read? Check out the Johnson County Library’s Storytime Blog.

2. Heightened Intelligence & Cognitive Skills

When you ponder the benefits of reading to your children, phonics and literacy immediately come to mind. So, it’s no shock that reading together will help bolster kids’ language development and overall cognitive abilities. But it may surprise you to learn just how far the ripple effect can reach, and at what age it can begin.

According to research compiled in 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, verbal interactions (such as reading and talking) between parents and young children may promote higher language and IQ scores all the way up to age 14. Reading helps foster problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and more.

When Should You Start Reading to Children?

Experts suggest reading to your child as early as possible – well before they’re able to actively participate! In fact, you can start even before they breathe their first breath of oxygen! Reading to your baby in the womb helps your newborn recognize your voice and feel soothed, and it lays the foundation for future literacy skills, too. Even just a few minutes a day can do wonders for your growing child’s vocabulary, reading, and comprehension skills.

Looking to maximize the benefits of reading as a family based on your child’s age? Check out our blog on games and activities to teach shapes, colors, and numbers and pay attention to the sections for “reading with babies and toddlers” and “reading with preschoolers”.

3. Expanded Vocabulary & Early Literacy

When you read with your child, he or she is very likely to hear new words that they wouldn’t have otherwise learned from you or from peers. Whether these vocabulary terms are commonly used or Dr. Suess lingo unfit for Merriam-Webster, any and all new words and sounds are supremely helpful in supporting your child’s ever-expanding linguistic abilities.

Reading as a family plays a pivotal role in developing early literacy skills in children. As parents read aloud, kids become familiar with the printed word, letter recognition, and left-to-right reading progression. They also gain an understanding of story structure, including the beginning, middle, and end. These foundational skills lay the groundwork for reading independently when they are ready.

4. Enhanced Emotional Development

Books provide children with an avenue to explore and understand emotions. Characters in stories experience a wide range of emotions, which children can relate to and learn from. By discussing the characters’ feelings and actions, parents can help children develop empathy and emotional intelligence. Reading as a family also creates a safe space for children to express their own emotions and thoughts, fostering healthy emotional development.

5. Boosted Imagination & Creativity

When children are exposed to stories and illustrations, they are transported to different worlds, nurturing their creativity and imaginative thinking. By leading interactive reading sessions, your kids consider others’ points of view, predict events and outcomes, and visualize the stories and characters themselves – stimulating boundless creativity.

Speaking of imagination, are you familiar with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program? She’s a huge advocate for early literacy. In her words, “The seeds of dreams are often found in books, and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.” Today, her program spans five countries and gifts over 2 million free books each month to children around the globe! Want to sign up? Check your availability here.

Schedule a Tour at Kiddi Kollege

Here at Kiddi Kollege of Johnson County, Kansas, our early childhood education curriculum supports your child’s cognitive, physical, social-emotional, and creative development through individualized attention, building independence, forming school-to-home relationships, and yes – lots of books, too! The benefits of reading are abundant and there are many literary options to help support your quest to nurture your child’s growth and development at every stage.

We provide child care, but our learning programs go far beyond a typical “day care” experience. Our classrooms provide a warm, secure, and loving environment where children can develop independence and embrace their uniqueness. We offer classes for children as young as six weeks, all the way through pre-Kindergarten, and we have after-school care options for kids through age 12, too! Check out our eight locations throughout southern Kansas City and schedule a tour today.