What your children really get out of story time
10 August, 2021
It’s a preferred bonding activity for both children and parents, but there are plenty of other benefits to reading regularly with your child that you may not know about. Here are just a few of them!
It goes without saying that reading with your children can help them become better readers, but did you know that this is due to a little thing called ‘print awareness’? Print awareness is the understanding that certain shapes stand for letters, and those letters can be combined to form words. Exposing your children to print provides an important foundation for not only reading, but so many of the other activities they will undertake at school – whether they are tabletop tasks, reading from the board and even mathematics.
Speech and language skills
Providing your child with plenty of opportunities to interact with sounds, words and language is perhaps the most effective way to develop a foundation for their early literacy skills. Stories that rhyme are particularly helpful for teaching speech and language skills, as they are easier for your children to remember (and lots of fun to engage with!). Notice and encourage the types of stories your children enjoy reading to help foster their love of language. You will see their focus and communication blossom in turn.
There’s a reason that reading a book before bed is a mainstay in so many households – it’s a great bonding activity! But, that’s not all. Reading with your child allows them to observe how you engage with stories, giving them both a positive reading role model and opportunities to understand eye contact, facial expressions, and practice social skills. They aren’t simply learning from the words on the page – they are following your cues to develop their own social skills at the same time. Allow your child to stop and talk about things they have noticed in the book and use these moments to discuss difficult topics or emotions with your child.
The final and perhaps most important point is that reading is, well… fun! Reading books is a great way to engage your child’s imagination and stimulate imaginative play, introducing them to things and places they may never discover otherwise (think outer space, dinosaurs, and long-lost worlds). As your child begins to enjoy reading, they will also appreciate the value of books and stories. Reading can also help your child become more curious about the world, learning about their own culture and other cultures in an entertaining way.
Now that you’re well-versed on the benefits of story time, why not invest in some new educational books? Here are 10 of our favourites.