- A stronger relationship with you. As the child grows older, he’ll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring you closer together.
- Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning in general. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education. After all, if a student struggles to put together words and sentences, how can he be expected to grasp the math, science, and social concepts he’ll be presented with when he begins elementary school?
- Basic speech skills. Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, children are learning critical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, your child is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language. “Pretend reading”—when a toddler pages through a book with squeals and jabbers of delight—is a very important pre-literacy activity. As a preschooler, the child will likely begin sounding out words on his own.
- The basics of how to read a book. Children aren’t born with an innate knowledge that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page are separate from the images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading.
- Better communication skills. When you spend time reading to toddlers, they’ll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy, constructive way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.
By: Judi Hussey is a mom to 2 wonderful kids who love to read, kinda like herself. She has experience as a Teacher-Librarian, making sure others receive the gift of books and reading for a lifetime!