This month is National Share a Story Month in the UK, an annual celebration bringing children and stories together. This year’s theme is Sail Away in a Story, focusing on being taken on a fantasy adventure with a good story, particularly stories that include oceans and mermaids! For this year’s Share a Story Month, we’ve put together ten benefits of reading to a child.
- Bonding experience
Reading to a child regularly gives you both a chance to slow down and share a special, private moment with each other. It creates a regular event where you can both look forward to spending time together.
- Increases vocabulary and language skills
When you read to a child, it exposes them to a wide range of new words and language patterns that they may not usually be familiar with. Introducing them to these new words helps to build their language and vocabulary.
- Supports cognitive development
Cognitive development is how we perceive and think about the world around us. The sensory experience of sitting with a parent, hearing their voice, and seeing the images and words of a book is important for a child’s brain development.
- Builds empathy
Reading is an important tool for helping children to develop empathy as they are learning about people whose lives are different from their own. It allows them to gain an appreciation of other people’s cultures, lifestyles, and feelings.
- Improves attention span
Having regular time for a child to sit and listen not only improves their listening skills but also their concentration. Children tend to have a low attention span so an activity such as reading teaches them how to be still and focus their mind onto one thing.
- Higher levels of creativity and imagination
When we read a book or have a book read to us, we rely on our imagination to visualise the characters, setting, and story. Doing this regularly helps to build a child’s imagination which, in turn, improves their creativity.
- Preparation for academic success
Reading to a child from an early age helps to expand their language skills and vocabulary before they start school. This means they are more prepared when it comes to learning to read independently and doing well in literacy.
- Cultivating a lifelong love of reading
Getting children interested in books and stories from an early age helps to cement a love of reading. This makes it more likely they will continue to have an interest in reading as they get older.
- Gaining a deeper understanding of the world
As well as improving their language and empathy skills, reading a range of books and stories also introduces children to the rest of the world! It gives children an exciting opportunity to learn about things they’ve never heard about before.
- Social and emotional development
Reading to young children can help them gain a better understanding of their emotions. Stories about emotional or stressful situations can show children that feelings are normal and teach them how to act when they experience these emotions themselves.
Here are some of our books which we think align perfectly with the Sail Away in a Story theme. You can find them all on our website. Happy reading!