The Benefits of Reading Out Loud to Kids


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There are many benefits to reading out loud to your kids, listening to a story also imparts unique advantages.

Helps children grasp big picture aspects of narrative. Especially early on, it takes a lot of mental power just to form the words and sentences, let alone comprehending them and being able to follow plot lines and big themes. Thus, when read aloud, kids are more able to appreciate stories and lessons and big picture ideas. And, these benefits carry over all the way through middle school, and even beyond.

Builds empathy. It’s been shown that reading builds empathy (especially fiction), and that benefit extends to kids as well. You likely know from your own experience that reading someone’s memoir from war-torn country is far more impactful than hearing a story about it on the news. It connects you to the situation more.

Increases vocabulary and an understanding of sophisticated language patterns. When you read aloud to a kid, you build up their storehouse of words and grammatically correct phrases and sentences. This increased vocabulary helps them out in conversation, in their writing, and in their general communication skills.

Instills a lifelong love of reading. The benefits of reading as an adult are too numerous to list here, and you probably know what they are anyway. Books delight, inform, inspire, and challenge — they serve as life-long mentors and companions.

It’s a fun way to spend quality time with your kids. Beyond all the above tangible benefits of reading to your kids, it’s just a really fun way to spend time with them. In a world of digital devices and toys that are filled with buttons and parent-annoying-noises, reading to your kids is a relatively calm, grounding activity that can be enjoyed by parent and child alike.

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