The proven benefits of reading to young children

Contributed by Pippa Newton

PR executive

Fri 26 Nov 2021

These days, it’s so easy to forget about the benefits of reading and instead sit your child in front of the TV or a tablet while you rush to do something else. Of course, this form of entertainment can be beneficial and certainly guarantees that five minutes of peace every parent is after. But, the time-honoured benefits of reading with our kids remain unchanged – even in this busy digital age.

At In The Book, we strive to inspire a love of reading in every child. We make unique personalised books that capture a child’s attention as they search for their name that appears on every page of their personalised book. We have researched the benefits of reading with young kids for just 20 minutes every day and have summarised our findings for you in this blog.

Benefits of reading #1: improves academic performance

It shouldn’t really surprise anyone that reading with your child every day will improve their academic performance later in life. Various studies, like this one, have deduced that by reading every day kids will obtain higher test scores when they are in secondary school. This study found that students who read daily on average scored higher than other students in their literacy test, and likewise in their mathematics tests. The research shows that reading not only benefits pupils’ linguistics skills but their overall IQ and academic performance.

These improved academic scores can be achieved by reading with your child for as little as 20 minutes every day. Such a short time investment to improve their academic achievements later in life! Additionally, the routine of reading with your child each day will encourage them to keep reading and remain inquisitive when they grow up.

Benefits of reading #2: improves concentration

Reading with your child demands concentration, as they learn to navigate sentences and follow the adventures of the characters. Even little ones need to maintain focus on the bright illustrations featured in their books.

The benefits of reading are played out time again during a child’s education by helping them develop the ability to concentrate on the words on the page or screen while they are learning in the classroom. To that end, there are plenty of different techniques available to keep your child interested. As Read Brightly explains, kids have a great sense of humour, so why not try feeding into that when you are sitting down to read? Try a funny book or put on silly voices when narrating; it’s bound to have them in fits of giggles and desperate for more reading time in the future.

Books2All blog: The proven benefits of reading to young children by Pippa Newton

Benefits of reading #3: encourages creativity and imaginative thinking

Fiction books are a magical world where your child’s imagination and creativity will flourish. Whether they’re especially interested in fantasy stories or prefer brightly-coloured picture books, they are bound to get sucked into the creative magic of every book. Reading with them will help nurture the creative side of their brain, which can get neglected in the classroom.

Parents.com suggests taking the imaginative thinking one step further by finding activities inspired by the book to extend the experience and bring the content to life. Children respond well to all their senses being stimulated, so by taking them on a book-inspired day out, they will associate the incredible day with reading and want to keep reading more and more.

Benefits of reading #4: improves communication and speech skills

It is well known that humans learn foreign languages much faster when they are very young. Children are better at distinguishing sounds within language while they are still learning their first language. For the same reason, reading from a young age greatly benefits a child’s communication and speech skills, as they are at their prime for developing these skills.

Studies, such as those carried out at the Center of the Developing Child at Harvard University, have found that 85% of a child’s brain evolves faster before the age of five than at any other time in their life. So, reading baby and toddler books with your little one as early as possible is highly beneficial. Although they might not understand or follow a detailed plot, they can enjoy listening to you read the book aloud and follow along as you turn the pages.

Books2All blog: The proven benefits of reading to young children by Pippa Newton

Benefits of reading #5: higher expected lifetime earnings

Research published by Lynn Fielding in 1998 stated that 77% of children who read between a second- or eighth-grade (year 3-year 8) level when starting third grade (year 4) will graduate high school (complete sixth form), while only 27% of children who read below this level will accomplish this.

Fielding also concluded that a child’s probable lifetime earnings increase by $220,000 if they graduate high school. Allowing for inflation, this now amounts to an increase of over $370,000 or around £278,000.

So, isn’t reading with your child for 20 minutes today worth it for a whopping £278,000 extra in their earnings?

How In The Book strives to get every child reading

We are a leading personalised book publisher in the UK, and we work hard to encourage kids to love reading as much as we do. For World Book Day 2021, we donated some of our books to children’s hospitals across the country. We hope these books gave worried parents the chance for some special story-time bonding with their little one and an unexpected happy moment for them all.

In The Book regularly carries out research to uncover the benefits of activities parents can do with their children, such as singing nursery rhymes. We are all massive bookworms hoping to inspire the newest generations to love books as much as we do. There is nothing more magical than opening a book and transporting yourself to another place, time or adventure.

Thank you for visiting our blog. Our vision here at Books2All is a world where every child finds the books that help them reach their true potential. If you have spare books in good condition at home that you think might be appropriate for school children, please sign up for our app’s pre-release waiting list. If you represent a school, please register to receive books for your students.

All images courtesy of In the Book

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