Why Reading Aloud is Key to Your Child’s Development

Childhood is usually full of pictures books and stories, and ideally a lot of reading aloud. We all know that one of the main educational goals in the early years is to teach children how to read. With education in mind – as well as enjoyment and bonding – why is it important to read aloud to your child?

  • Fostering Creativity: Reading aloud allows your child to develop their imagination. Listening to a story helps children create characters, settings and images in their minds. As children move from picture books to books with more text and fewer pictures, they need this ability to visualize – not only to build their reading skills, but also to develop their creativity as an adult.
  • Building Reading Skills: When teachers read aloud to your child (and when you do), they help them identify letters, words, and sentence structure. Your child also learns how to structure thoughts.
  • Learning How to Predict Events: Think about it – at the beginning of a story, you look at the cover and talk about what the book might be about (“There is a dinosaur on the cover. I think this story might be about dinosaurs”). You talk about what might happen, and you try to predict what will happen in the story.
  • Fostering a Love of Learning: One of our goals when we read aloud is to create excitement around reading and learning about new topics. Reading allows us to learn something new, but also to add to familiar subjects.
  • Bolstering Confidence: Reading aloud invites conversation and involves those listening into that conversation. Being involved in the activity not only boost your child’s current knowledge, but also the feeling that they have a purpose and that they can share their knowledge and connect the dots. When they hear a story about a different place, they can ask questions and learn how to be proactive in a conversation.
  • Building Vocabulary: New books bring new words and help expand your knowledge base – this holds true for adults too, of course, but especially applies to children, who absorb new information like sponges.
  • Introducing Literary Cause and Effect: Books present the concept of cause and effect and allow children to identity that a story has a beginning, a middle and an end – as well as actions and consequences.
  • Introducing Storytelling Skills: By introducing a book and engaging children in a story, we are really teaching them how to tell a story. So many things in our lives are based on telling a story – and reading aloud is one of the first steps in laying a foundation for your child’s future storytelling skills.

When we read aloud to children, we often use inflection in our voices for different parts of the story. This inflection not only makes it more fun, but also teachers children how our language is structured.

To sum it all up: reading is all around us, and we need it to navigate our world. From the signs we read (open/closed, stop, road work ahead) to the labels we decode in the grocery store, children watch us read – and hopefully emulate how we use words to structure and make sense of our world.

Happy reading!



Nurturing, Educating, and Empowering Children