The Importance of Reading to a Child

-I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once. –C.S. Lewis

Beginning a routine of reading to your children can have many benefits. Reading to your children from early on in their life creates the love of reading, but the love for reading can begin anytime.

When I had my first child I couldn’t wait to read to him and already had a small library of books started. Nothing can replace the sweet connection you make with your child while holding them in your lap reading them a story. They experience what it feels like to be loved and safe and you create some great memories. When I had my second baby, not only did I have the connection of reading to him but many times while the baby would be sitting in the swing his four year old brother would sit next to him and read him a book.

Some of the first books we read were:

  1. Goodnight Moon
  2. Just In Case You Ever Wonder
  3. Are You My Mother?
  4. Guess How Much I Love You
  5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  6. Moo, Baa, La, La, La! (This one made them laugh hysterically)
  7. Dr. Seuss (too many to list them all)

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I read a great article recently at The Literacy Site; about the importance of reading to young children and how the simple structure of picture books is exposing them to more words than simply talking to them and this is doing something important for children.

As my boys got older and began reading, story time changed and we would all take turns reading. This helped them get the practice they needed to learn reading in a safe atmosphere. They didn’t have to worry about making mistakes and it gave them the confidence to read out loud in class when they began school.

Reading introduces children to new people and worlds and exploring their imagination. When we read we would use different voices for each character and bring ourselves into the story with our imagination. Stories can help teach: patience, generosity, love, understanding differences, and sometimes help with solutions to real life problems. Reading teaches children that anything is possible.

As my kid’s got older, I was able to read some of my favorites from when I was younger. We read Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and C.S. Lewis. We read old classics and new discoveries, they found out: How to Eat Fried Worms, and what happens when you drink Freckle Juice. Some of their favorites as they read included:

  1. Geronimo Stilton
  2. A to Z Mysteries
  3. Magic Treehouse Books
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
  5. All of the Rick Riordan series
  6. The 39 Clues

Above all else it is important to them. I have a thirteen year old now and even though he is venturing off into his own independent world, at night before bed he will still ask me, “Are we going to read tonight?”

So my challenge for you is: start a tradition and even if you begin with a couple nights during the week, pick a fun book and pile on a bed or the couch with your children and read. You will never have more fun! What were some of your favorite books when you were younger?

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Reading to a Child”

  1. I love this post! My boyfriend’s family has a tradition of reading “The Night Before Christmas” every Christmas Eve before they go to bed. The book is old and tattered because they have been doing it since they were kids, but his siblings range from 21-26 and they still love to do it! I like how you included the lists of books you read your kids-made me nostalgic since my mom read me some of the same ones! My only suggestion would to maybe end the post with a question and ask “what was your favorite book as a child?” Otherwise good job!

    Like

  2. Karen,
    Great post! The pictures are excellent and your paragraph length is just right. I like that you included list for young children and older ones as well. I have a 13 month old and she has loved books since she was a few months old. She turns the pages herself, points to and “talks” to the pictures and it amazes me how she connects pictures and words in the books to real life things, like our dog and the stars on the wall. I truly believe reading to her from a young age has really helped her intellectual development already.
    You did a great job of highlighting all the benefits of reading to children on a regular basis and the closing paragraph is a good call-to-action for your readers.

    Sara

    Like

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