Five Benefits of Reading To Your Child
I’m sure you’ve heard that reading to your child is beneficial, but maybe you wonder exactly how it can help her. And what kinds of books should you read to her? Well, there are several ways that reading supports your child’s language development.
- For babies, it gives them exposure to the sounds and rhythm of spoken language: Hearing the wide variety of sounds in our language, put together into words and sentences, gives your young child opportunities to learn how our language works.
- It builds listening comprehension: Listening to stories—especially stories that interest her—helps your child learn to process information she hears, even when it’s not in the form of a story. This will really help her at school, too.
- It is a great opportunity for bonding with your child: Sitting together to share a story is a wonderful way to enjoy family together time!
- It can encourage a love of reading: When children grow up having stories read to them, they are more likely to enjoy reading, and while this can be fun in itself, it will also help your child when she is in school.
- It can be such fun! There are books and stories on just about every subject, so there really is something for everyone. Books can allow children to have a wide range of adventures, in the comfort of their own home.
Six Books that are Great for Language Development
Once you know how reading aloud can help your child, you may be unsure of what books to start reading. The fact is, you can read anything. However, you can make choices based on both your child’s interests and your own interests. It is true that there are many wonderful children’s books out there that are particularly suited to language development. And you can choose books that are designed to benefit your child at each age, specifically. Here are just a few of my favorite children’s books, which I love because of rhyme, repetition, a good rhythm (like music), and fun content:
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, Jr.
- Pugs in a Bug, by Carolyn Crimi
- Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
- Each Peach Pear Plum, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
- Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson
- Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones, by Ruth Heller
But like I said, reading anything aloud can help your child’s language development. If there are more advanced books that you like, or subjects that interest you, go ahead and read them aloud. A couple of my personal favorites are The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkein and The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. I even read a few pages aloud of each of these while I was pregnant! I believe that it’s never too early.
Three Wonderful Resources for Books
And even if you don’t have the money to buy new books, there are resources that allow every child to have books of their own:
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: ImaginationLibrary.com
- Reading Rainbow Skybrary: ReadingRainbow.com
- Or check with your local library to find out if they’re selling books they aren’t using anymore!
But you can always get started by visiting your local library and checking out some books. And libraries usually offer story times regularly, which will give you more ideas for great children’s books.
Reading Aloud to Your Child
Teresa Davis, MS, CCC-SLP
Teresa Davis is a licensed speech-language pathologist who is passionate about helping children of all ages to communicate and has been with Carolina Pediatric Therapy since March of 2014. She received her Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Western Carolina University.