Reading Aloud to Kids: The 12 Benefits of Reading Books Out Loud to Children of All Ages
Reading aloud to children is one of the most important things
you can do to ensure their future success, and more and more
Americans seem to be jumping on the read-aloud bandwagon.
While only 78 percent of families read to their pre-kindergarten-aged
children frequently (three or more times a week) in 1993,
this increased to 86 percent in 2005, according to the National
Center for Education Statistics.
It's never too early to start reading to your kids.
Experts recommend starting as soon as they're born.
Kids of all ages (and adults, too) benefit from being read
to, including even babies and toddlers.
"Children are never too young to have stories read to
them," says Nancy Verhoek-Miller, a specialist in early
childhood education at Mississippi State University.
The benefits are so profound, and kids form so much of their
intelligence potential during the early years of their life,
that experts recommend reading aloud to your child as soon
as he or she is born, and continuing indefinitely.
Why Read to Your Kids? Here are 12 Important Reasons
"The single most important activity for building the
knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading
aloud to children," a Commission on Reading report found.
In fact, reading is so important that a non-profit group
called Read Aloud America is traveling to different schools
to promote literacy, encourage a love of reading in adults
and children, and increase children's prospects for success
in school and life.
Not only will reading to your child help him develop
language and listening skills, and a sense of curiosity,
but it will help to strengthen the bond you share as
Their Read Aloud Program (RAP) brings together kids and families
at host schools to stimulate their interest in reading, decrease
television viewing, increase family time spent in reading
activities, and connect the values of good books to everyday
life. Although the program is currently only offered in Hawaii,
you can gain the same benefits from reading to your kids at
Here are 12 of the key reasons to start (or continue) reading
aloud to your kids today.
Build a lifelong interest in reading. "Getting
kids actively involved in the process of reading, and
having them interact with adults, is key to a lifelong
interest in reading," said BeAnn Younker, principal
at Battle Ground Middle School in Indiana.
Children whose parents read to them tend to become better
readers and perform better in school, according to the
National Center for Education Statistics.
Reading to kids helps them with language and speech
It expands kids' vocabulary and teaches children how
to pronounce new words.
Reading to toddlers prepares them for school, during
which they will need to listen to what is being said to
them (similar to what they do while being read to).
Reading to older kids helps them understand grammar
and correct sentence structure.
Kids and parents can use reading time as bonding time.
It's an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication,
and it gives kids the attention they crave.
Being read to builds children's attention spans and
helps them hone their listening skills.
Curiosity, creativity and imagination are all developed
while being read to.
Being read to helps kids learn how to express themselves
clearly and confidently.
Kids learn appropriate behavior when they're read
to, and are exposed to new situations, making them more
prepared when they encounter these situations in real
When read to, children are able to experience the
rhythm and melody of language even before they can understand
the spoken or printed word.
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Center for Education Statistics