“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald
Reading with your kids can be a real treat, for so many reasons, says Better Reading’s Children’s specialist, Liz Bray. Here are a few:
1. Reading time is about chilling out and bonding, whether you’re reading aloud with a little one on your lap or just setting aside a half hour to sit together with each of you enjoying your own book. It’s a wonderful way to get some reading back into your own busy schedule!
2. You get to explore the extraordinary imaginary worlds of children’s books along with your kids, be it thrilling at the possibility of meeting a scary Gruffalo, heading down the rabbit hole or riding the train to magical Hogwarts.
3. You have licence to play with words, which can be delicious! There’s nothing like chanting an exuberant repeating text like ‘I Went Walking’ or all joining in with a resounding chorus of ‘but where is the GREEN sheep?’ And your kids don’t care that you’re not a professional actor.
4. Your kids will teach you new things and remind you how exciting it is to discover a story for the first time. With their ‘fresh eyes’ on the world, they’ll often surprise you with what they notice in book illustrations and what they remember most and think is important in a story.
5. There’s nothing like sharing a passion and passing your passion for stories on to your kids.
6. If it’s the end of a busy work day sometimes reading with your kids is the last thing you feel like doing, but you might find you quickly get into the flow and are even energised by it. Plus the joy and pleasure in watching your children read to you – or you reading to them – will be worth the effort.
7. And most importantly, reading with your kids gives them a great start, building literacy and assisting their academic achievement and emotional development. Research consistently shows that children reading aloud, and children being read to, help to improve their academic outcomes.
For more on the benefits of reading:
Our article on how books help develop children’s empathy
Our article on truly great reading aloud and storytelling