Anything, Family, Literacy

12 Reasons Why It’s Important To Read To Your Children

There are so many joys and benefits to both you and your children when you explore the pages of a book. Finding a comfortable spot and reading to your child creates a nice memory for both of you. This enjoyable pastime can enrich the life of your child. The time invested creates an experience that is fun no matter what age your child is. 

It has been found that reading aloud and letting children hear the sound of your voice has a profound positive impact on our children. These reasons should not be overlooked. Reading aloud can be the single most important activity to the development of a child’s love of reading. Plus, it’s just a great way to bond! 

It doesn’t matter if you read chapter books with paper pages, read Ebooks with an interactive style on an iPad or other device, read board books, books with illustrations, or anything else as long as you have age-appropriate reading materials. Even nursery rhymes and reading your own stories can be helpful and a good choice!

Children love to hear our voices. Talking with your children enables them to expand their vocabulary and understanding of the world around them. Plus, it helps with early literacy skills and language skills. We are here to support your endeavors and encourage you to read regularly to your child. 

How Reading Impacts Your Child

Understanding the benefits of reading to your child should not be a source of stress or guilt. Reading to your child should be a relaxing time that is a break from a hectic schedule. Enjoy the interaction and think of the activity as a time of quiet rest. 

Reading to your child at bedtime is a great way of establishing an enjoyable routine. Reading is important at any age, but it can be especially important in first grade, second grade, and third grade, when children are really strengthening their reading skills. If a child has learning disabilities such as dyslexia, reading lots of books is essential to help kids overcome their disability and read with confidence. 

1. Reading Is Great For Any Age

You can start now, no matter the age of your child. Research shows that babies and young children rapidly grow in their cognitive development in the early stages of life. The benefits in older children may be easier to observe simply because it is easier for them to express what they are learning, especially when reading complex plots. 

2. Improves Concentration

When you get started reading regularly to your child you may be dealing with a squirming distracted toddler. Listening is a new skill that your child is learning. Studies show that reading aloud to your child helps to develop their attention span and concentration. 

Some children are just active and have a hard time being still. They can listen while coloring or quietly playing near you. The time you invest while reading with your child may also increase their comprehension, retention, and memory. This is something you can work on at home and with your child’s teacher.

3. Reading Builds Children’s Self Esteem

Finishing a book is an achievement which leads to a feeling of success for your child. Reading to children increases language comprehension which leads to higher cognitive skills and can improve interaction with their peers. 

Exploring the interaction of characters leads to a better understanding of what to expect and how to act in social situations. Improving these skills allow children to have success in everyday experiences which helps you build your child’s self-esteem. Encourage your older children to spend time in school libraries, participate in a reading challenge, or participate in monthly reading clubs.

4. Reading Increases Vocabulary

When you are reading aloud to a child you are introducing a larger variety of words than those that are heard in daily life. The language in books is more structured than what occurs in conversation. Often the words you are reading are imaginary and descriptive. 

A child who is constantly read to has a larger than average vocabulary. The research suggests that the more words a child understands, the greater academic success they have.

5. Reading To Your Children Prepares Them To Read

You may find it surprising that when you are reading to a child you are starting their journey to learning how to read for themselves. Teaching someone to read may seem like an endeavor that requires specialized skills. Don’t worry; Caribu is here to help. Rest assured that you have the ability to greatly impact a child’s reading simply by reading aloud. 

Children who are regularly read to develop phonemic awareness, which is the ability to identify and play with the individual sounds of words. This leads to the understanding of phonics, the correlation of sound that connects letters to written language. Reading aloud to a child has a great impact on their ability to learn how to read.

6. It Can Help Develop Current Reading Skills

Reading to older children is also an effective way to build upon the reading skills they already have. There is no need to feel like you have missed the opportunity to impact a child because they are older. 

All children enjoy the time spent and the attention that comes with sharing a story with a loved one. Your influence can foster a lifetime of learning. You may be cultivating and expanding the knowledge that they currently have.

Children that are reluctant readers will especially benefit from the exposure to hearing the written word. By reading aloud to them you are allowing them to set aside any difficulty they are having with learning for a time. 

You are also instilling a positive response to opening a book. There are new worlds that open up when you explore a book. Older children may find this encouraging and you may find they have an additional excitement for learning new things. 

All children, regardless of their reading level, can benefit from being read to. A wonderful bonus is that you are creating an enjoyable time together.

7. Reading Helps Build Relationships

One of the greatest benefits of reading to your child is that it fosters growth in your relationship. You are naturally encouraging and providing a nurturing environment. Additionally, you are forming a positive association with books and reading. Cherish the one-on-one time spent with your child. You are creating lasting memories. 

With interactive video-calling and book reading from Caribu, it is easy to stay in touch, even if you live far away. Grandparents can get involved and spend time regularly reading to a loved one. We want to encourage families to regularly get involved, the interaction supports everyone. Reading together is a natural way to strengthen bonds and foster your relationship with your child.

8. Helps Kids Explore New Interests

Books allow you to open windows into new worlds and discover unexpected things. As adults, it is often easy to overlook the simple details of life. The wonder of a child can be infectious; they can find such joy in things that from their perspective is new and interesting. 

Reading to children has the boundless potential to stimulate a child’s interest. Fair warning, kids like repetition, so you may find yourself reading the same storybook about fire trucks, dinosaurs, or tortoises. 

9. Reading Creates Space For Conversations

The more words a child has spoken to them in a day, the better it is for them. The most important aspect of talking to a child is the number of words heard. Storytime is an easy way to engage in a conversation with a child. 

You can ask them what they think about the story. Explain anything that is new to them. The conversation can quickly lead to other things going on in their day, giving you the opportunity to listen and have some insight into their perspective on the world. 

10. Reading Enriches Playtime

Children love to use their imaginations and have the capacity to dream big. It takes kids time to learn information and often children process what they are learning in more than one way. You may find that your child has incorporated what you have read to them into their play. 

It may be acting out the part of the story or simply gravitating to a toy they associate with what you have read. The impact of reading aloud to a child extends beyond the time that you have invested.

11. Reading Increases Intelligence

Studies in neuroscience show that reading aloud actually stimulates the growth of children’s brains. The available impact of reading for brain development starts at birth. The greatest amount of mental growth occurs from infancy to the age of five. Studies show that thousands of cells are stimulated while a child is listening to a story being read aloud which increases cognitive skills.

Research suggests that a child’s developing brain triples in the child’s first year alone and can be fully formed by the time they reach the age of five. Due to the course of brain development, you may not be surprised that young children who are exposed to an increased amount of language usually prove to be good readers when they get older.

12. Reading Provides Opportunities for Additional Activities

Literature is a wonderful way to explore new things without having to leave the house. You can follow up with new food or games that relate to a read-aloud. 

Reading new stories can often lead to seeking new types of activities that expand a child’s world. You can also enhance a daily activity by looking for examples or experiences that reflect what you have been reading. Activities can be as simple as looking for butterflies on a walk. You may start to develop new common interests and find yourself planning an excursion to a living butterfly exhibit. 

The Key To Success

The most important takeaway for maximum benefits from your storytime is not the length of the time you spend reading but to be frequent and consistent. Establishing a reading routine is the best way to achieve the greatest impact of the investment you are making in your child. A good goal to aim for is reading 5 times a week. The research supports your actions so you can relax and know you are creating a positive and rewarding habit. 

How To Get Started

You don’t need a large personal library to get started. You can gather what you have on hand. If you don’t have any picture books available check to see if you have any classic books on hand that might be age-appropriate. Even if you find that what you have immediately available is not grabbing their attention, you will gain insight into what may work best next time. 

Examples Of What To Read

Planning what you are going to read can be made easy by looking for award-winning children’s books. Picture books are a great way of spending time with children. Make Way For Ducklings written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey is a wonderful selection that both you and your child are sure to enjoy. The city of Boston has a statue of these famous ducks in bronze that are located in the Public Garden. 

A great resource for finding age-appropriate children’s books is on our app. All of the books available on our app are age-appropriate for young children. We also have a wide variety of books available to choose from, including different lengths and types. 

You can find more book options and book lists to give you ideas online. A wonderful choice is to look for curated collections. When you purchase a collection the difficulty of choosing quality books that are age-appropriate has been taken care of for you. 

If You Have Nothing To Read At The Moment

We all have experienced plans changing at a moment’s notice as the unexpected has become normal for all of us. You can capitalize on an unplanned opportunity to read to your child even if you don’t have anything age-appropriate on hand. 

You can find quality award-winning books for your child available to download right on your phone or tablet. A memorable classic where a clever young boy tricks everyone until they have a feast fit for a king is Stone Soup by Marcia Brown. This wonderful selection is easily available.

Involving Grandparents

Grandparents can get involved and spend time regularly reading to their grandchildren. We want to encourage families to regularly get involved; the interaction supports everyone. Reading together is a natural way to strengthen bonds and foster your relationship with your child. 

An easy way to get started no matter how far away you live is with an easy interactive app for your phone or tablet. Caribu has a wealth of books with your child’s favorite characters along with activities and games that are ready to go at a moment’s notice and can be easily read together in a video-call. 

Taking time to read to your grandchild is an incredible way to support their parents. You are helping them carve out some time for them to spend with a sibling or just a few minutes to tackle some of the demands of life.   

Reading together may give your child an opportunity to show you something new on your tablet or phone. This can encourage a child and give them a sense that they are helping you. Children may gain an understanding of belonging to a larger family unit and their place in it.

Grandparents also have the ability to contribute to a child’s development. They may also bring a different perspective of stories to your child. Research supports that grandparents play a vital role in a child’s well-being. 

Impacting Older Children

Using reading is a great way to stay connected to kids of all ages. This includes kids well beyond the age of those willing to be read to. If they are reading on their own then you win! The next goal is to help your child develop skills that may influence them in becoming lifelong learners. 

Children who lack an interest in stories often tend to gravitate to non-fiction reading sources. You can start with finding out what they are currently interested in. If they are interested in technology, for example, ask if they have read any interesting articles recently. 

You may find asking questions about what an adolescent is interested in reading leading to quality time and connections. You don’t need to be an expert on the topic they are reading about. Kids appreciate that you are showing an interest. You may want to start asking questions, inquiring for more information from the child, or an explanation. 

Some teens who have shown no interest in engaging in a conversation will light up when they are the person in the room who knows the most about any given topic. Finding articles on interests they already have is a great strategy for encouraging older children to read.


Poetry may be a great choice if your child is not interested in listening to stories. There are many silly and humorous collections to choose from to get you started. The wide range of what is available allows you to select the perfect poem to engage your child no matter what age they are.

Younger children enjoy poems that rhyme. Often there is a great difference in the patterns that poems offer and tales that they tell are presented in a different format than other types of stories. 

The easy repetition and short length can lead to silliness that can quickly add an element of fun. Kids love foolish faces and large arm movements. Acting out a short poem is a great way to transition into an activity, game, or active playtime.

Start Reading Today

The importance of reading to your child can not be overemphasized and can have lifelong implications. The reasons for spending time reading to your child do not need to be overwhelming. Simply get started and take it one read-aloud at a time.


The Importance of Reading to Your Children | Children’s Bureau

50 Top Literacy Statistics | Ferst Readers

Fact Sheet on the Importance of Reading to Infants and Young Children | Get Caught Reading