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DAD.info | Fatherhood | Being Dad | World Book Day 2024: the benefits of reading with children

World Book Day 2024: the benefits of reading with children

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

Get the costumes ready for school- World Book Day 2024 is on Thursday!

While we parents often get caught up in the organisation of events at school for World Book Day, the true message of the event often gets forgotten- the importance of reading for kids.

What are the benefits of reading with kids?

You might wonder why it’s particularly helpful for you to read with your kids- they can look at books themselves, right? Well, yes they can, and solo reading has different benefits. However, when you spend time reading a story to or with your child, research shows that you’re opening them up to a number of advantages that give them the best start in learning:

Developing their literacy and language skills

When a child follows the story along as you read it to them, they learn how to pronounce the words and understand the meanings. This sets them on a positive path with their English work at school.

Encouraging a love of books

Secondly, your enthusiasm is infectious. When your child reads with you they enjoy the interaction which in turn makes reading a positive activity.

Opening up a world of imagination

When you read to your little one you help show them how interesting books can be. Kids love it when dad changes his voice to speak as various characters, and brings the words to life.

Encouraging good listening skills

Kids have a tendency to be bouncy and energetic, but they need down time too. Sharing story time together gives kids a chance to regulate their emotions and have some calm time. It also helps kids learn to listen- a valuable asset when it comes to school.

Bonding with parents

Reading together is an effective way to bond with your child. You can start this from when kids are babies- little ones love looking at the bright colours of board books, or engaging their senses using touch and feel books. As they grow, story time can become a daily ritual, both at bedtime and during the day, providing vital time together for you both.

This needn’t stop when kids get older, either. As kids approach late primary school age, you can read an age-appropriate story together, and discuss what’s happening and your thoughts on the characters.

Developing their reading comprehension

It’s important for children to be able to interpret what’s happening in the story as they get older, and be able to analyse the actions of the characters. This is a vital skill that forms a large part of English lessons through primary and secondary school. Their comprehension of stories can be greatly aided by reading with their parents, and discussing the themes in books and understanding them.

Supporting a lifelong habit of reading

Reading isn’t just positive for kids, it offers a number of positive benefits for adults too. This includes keeping our brains active, reducing the chance of mental decline as we grow older by over 30%. It’s also a healthy way to relax and unwind, and a means to engage our imaginations. It improves our memory, too.

Therefore, encouraging reading in children goes further than benefitting the immediate future.

Tips to encourage reading in kids

With all the will in the world, there are some kids that won’t sit as well as others and read. Here are some handy ideas to help them get into it:

  • Build a reading den/ put up a tent. Create a fun space to read in- either together or alone.
  • Make stories more engaging by using your acting skills! When you read to kids in an animated way, e.g. reading the word ‘boom!’ very loudly, it makes story time more fun and they are more likely to want to take part.
  • Visit the library regularly. Every couple of weeks let your child choose new books in the library, which keeps their interest fresh.
  • Raid the charity shop. Charity shops are a gem for kid’s books- there is usually a good variety for less than £1 each.
  • Offer rewards for reading. Younger kids will enjoy having a sticker chart to complete for reading a number of books. The prize needn’t be anything major- a homemade certificate with their name on will do. Libraries also run reading schemes for kids to encourage a love of books.

For more about World Book Day 2024 click here.

To chat to other parents visit our forum.

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