We are always being told to get kids reading from an early age, but do we really understand the benefits of reading for children?
We have teamed up with Schoolbooks.ie to do the research. Read on to get the lowdown on why you should be encouraging your child to get reading.
From creativity and confidence to empathy and concentration the list of benefits is long. Here are just six to start you off on your journey of discovery. And how you can help encourage your kids to read more. We have included great recommended reads, all parent and child approved, to help too.
Inspiring your child to read more is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. It will continue into adulthood and will help them in ways you may not even imagine. There are so many amazing books out there suitable for all ages, abilities and interest areas. I love nothing more than to hear my kids suddenly burst out laughing as they are reading, knowing they are enjoying it so much.
Benefits of Reading for Your Child
#1. Increases Their World and Imagination!
Reading can take children (and adults!) on magical journeys. Through reading, children learn about people, places and events outside their own experience. They are exposed to ways of life, ideas and beliefs about the world which may be different from those which surround them. Reading lets children learn about different countries and cultures and encourages their imagination to grow.
Children naturally have vivid imaginations and reading will nurture and support their creativity. Creativity is very important for developing interests and ideas, as well as building confidence. David Walliams books are wonderful reads for kids of all ages, laugh out loud funny.
#2. Increases Vocabulary & Confidence
We have all heard the phrase ‘Practice makes perfect’ many times. But in this case it really does. Children who read from a young age, invariably get better at reading. This builds confidence to attempt more difficult books.
The vocabulary children gain from reading cannot be underestimated. Children will use words they have just read to understand it’s meaning in everyday life – sometimes with quite funny results. Captain Underpants is a big favourite in our house and boy we have had some funny utterances as a result.
#3. Increases Concentration
Many children find it difficult to concentrate for long periods, hey even some adults do too! Reading encourages children to get lost in a story, thus focusing them on one task for a period of time.
In order to fully understand what is being read, a child needs to devote 100% of their attention to the words and this is how concentration is developed. One of the many benefits of reading that is appreciated in all aspects of their lives as children grow into adulthood.
My eldest has recently discovered the world of Harry Potter. The writing in the books is smaller than she is used to and they are a step up from her regular reading. But her concentration levels have definitely increased as she is so involved with the story!
#4. Helps Develop Empathy
We all know that a good plot and well written story will draw you into a book. But it is great characters that you can identify with that will really pull at the heart strings and make you feel empathy. We recently watched the movie Wonder and days later in our local bookshop my 8 year old spotted a copy of the book and had to have it. He is really enjoying it and comes to ask me questions regularly about different things that happen in the book and how he feels about them.
Children will often identify with characters in books – whether it be a child who is afraid of something or who has done something brave. We all want to be the person who gets over their fears and achieve great things.
There are also characters and stories that we will have empathy for, a friend or indeed themselves may be going through a similar situation to that in the story. Sometimes this can enable them to find a solution to a problem they are having, or at least feel like they are not alone. The written word can empower them with the right vocabulary to voice concerns or thoughts to those around them.
#5. Ultimate Solution to ‘I’m Bored’
If you read, you are never alone and have no reason to ever be bored! Hours can be spent with a good book and it can take you away from whatever is going on around you and transport you to a new world.
One of the amazing things about books and reading is the wide availability of topics on offer. There are books on every subject and topic available from libraries, bookshops and online. Why not start your child’s journey today?
#6. Improves Schoolwork
Not only does literacy improve confidence in language subjects, it improves schoolwork across the board.
The obvious ones are history, geography, science where text is read and important points are picked out to be remembered. But even subjects like maths benefits from an ability to read and understand a question.