25Jun
2014
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4 Benefits Of Reading To Your Child From An Early Age

Reading with your child at an early age is one of the most enjoyable and memorable bonding experiences that you can have. But did you know that it is also a vital part of your child’s development? In recent years, experts in education and early childhood development have shown that reading to your child on a regular basis from an early age has significant benefits for their emotional, cognitive and educational development. So, if you need any more reasons to head down to your local library today, have a look at my top 4 benefits of reading to your child from an early age. 

1. It Fosters A Love of Learning

What memories do you associate with reading? Does the thought of reading bring up warm, happy memories of your childhood, when your Mum or Dad would read you bedtime stories, of curling up in a comfortable chair and losing yourself in the imaginary world of a book? Or does reading bring up negative memories of struggling through complicated texts at school and struggling to stay awake while reading page after page? The attitudes that we take to reading, and to learning in general, are developed at a young age. The experiences that children have with reading before primary school often play a significant role in shaping how they approach reading in the future. Reading to your child at a young age is one of the best ways of ensuring that they will have a passion for reading in later life, a passion that will give them an incredible advantage throughout their education. 

2. It Provides Educational Advantages

The link between reading at a young age and educational performance might seem like common sense, but it’s also scientifically proven. In 2013, The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research published a long-term study on the reading skills of more than 4000 children, from the ages of 4 to 11. The study which is described here showed that children aged four to five who are read to three to five times a week develop a six-month advantage on those who are not. It also showed that children who are read to six to seven days a week are almost a year ahead of those who are not being read to in terms of literacy skills. And it’s not only literacy skills that were impacted. The study also demonstrated a link between early-age reading and numeracy skills.

3. It Develops Communication Skills 

One of the best ways of learning new words and new ideas is through reading. When reading with your young child, you will often get asked, “What does that word mean?” This is an excellent thing. Children have a genius capacity to learn language and build vocabulary in the early years before school. The more questions they ask, the more words they will learn, and the more clearly they will be about to express their ideas in the future. As well as just teaching them extra words, reading will expose your child to a vast range of different ideas and perspectives. 

4. It Promotes Creativity 

Creativity is not just about being able to paint beautiful pictures or tell interesting stories. Creativity is the ability to look at a difficult situation and think, “What are the different ways that I can approach this?” Being exposed to a vast range of stories from a young age teaches us to look at the world in a unique and interesting way. A good book can allow your child to stretch their imagination and explore ideas and possibilities that they have never thought of before. This is a skill that will, quite seriously, help them in nearly every aspect of their life. 

If you’re unsure about where to start, or want to find your child’s next favourite book, click here to have a look at this great list of the top 10 best Australian children’s books.

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