Benefits of Reading
A book is a gift you can open again and again. – Garrison Keillor
This Thursday is Read for the Record – the world’s largest shared reading experience! Read for the Record is a national campaign to read the same book, on the same day, in communities all over the world, to celebrate the importance of literacy and early childhood education.
To take part, Omaha Children’s Museum is hosting a special edition of Leader Reader on Thursday, October 22 at 11:45 a.m. OCM Executive Director, Lindy Hoyer, will be reading this year’s campaign book, Not Norman: A Goldfish Story. Afterwards, one lucky child in attendance will receive a free copy of the book to take home!
To celebrate Read for the Record and the importance of literacy in early childhood education, we put together 5 benefits of reading to your kids.
5 Benefits of Reading from Birth and Up:
Regular reading time together helps children develop a love for reading and stretches their imagination! Explore a silly story that creates belly laughs, dive into a mystery and solve a crime or simply talk through a beautiful picture book and see what your child can discover. Reading together unleashes a magical world where your child’s imagination can run free.
Reading to your infant is a special moment you can share together each day. Whether it’s with one child or all of your children, cuddling up and reading together is a soothing and relaxing time to spend as a family. Make wonderful memories together as you explore new worlds through books.
Develops a Variety of Skills
When you read, your voice changes tone, rhythm and emotion – all things your child picks up on. Reading to your child and talking about what’s happening in the story exercises skills such as talking, listening, answering questions, comprehension, story relationships, friendships and problem solving.
Young children who are read to daily hear, on average, thousands of more words than children who are not read to daily. This exposure to such a wide variety of words helps children increase their vocabulary and recognition of sounds and patterns. When you read stories to your young child, their vocabulary is being built as they connect what you are saying to the pictures in the book.
You can read whatever you want! Just because you’re reading to an infant doesn’t mean you have to read a children’s story. As a parent, you may struggle to find the time to read that new bestseller everyone is talking about. But truth is it doesn’t matter what you read to your little ones just as long as you are reading to them for 20 minutes every day.
“While it may not seem like your baby is listening or understanding what you’re saying, there is a substantial difference between children who were read to as infants and children who were not. Infants who were read to grow up to do better in preschool, recognize letters earlier and have an ingrained love of reading,” says Dacia Bryan, OCM Educational Outreach Coordinator.
Whether it’s a picture book, children’s book, newspaper, magazine or your favorite novel, an infant benefits greatly from hearing you read words aloud. Not only does this help your child, but you now have a reason to squeeze in time to read that bestseller.
Having children means crazy schedules with little downtime, but knowing the many benefits of reading to your children may help you squeeze in some book time together.