Why reading aloud is so important
It is well known that regular reading aloud has a positive effect on a child’s development. In fact, children who are read to regularly are better equipped for kindergarten, school and everyday life. But why is that?
Reading aloud promotes child development
Reading aloud promotes children’s development on many levels:
- Children learn new words, sentence structures and expressions when they read aloud. This promotes their language development and helps them to express themselves and communicate better.
- When reading aloud, children learn to listen attentively and pay attention to small details. In this way, children unconsciously train their ability to concentrate and pay attention.
- The pictures and stories are created in the children’s minds. This stimulates their fantasy and imagination and encourages their creativity.
- Stories can evoke strong emotions and help children better understand and express their own emotions. Reading aloud can also help children develop empathy and compassion. Emotional development is strengthened.
Reading aloud promotes bonding
Reading aloud is a wonderful way to spend time with children and build a close bond. For children, reading aloud means not only having a text read to them, but also having an exchange with the person reading aloud. About a certain topic in the book but also about themselves and others. This promotes empathy and children learn to put their thoughts into words. So reading together is also relationship work – it strengthens the bond and it is fun to plunge together into the adventures that await on the printed pages.
Reading aloud creates an easier access to reading:
Children who discover the exciting world of books early and with fun usually find it easier to access independent reading at primary school age. They demonstrably learn to read and write more easily and often do better at school.
Parents and other caregivers can act as role models by reading themselves and setting an example. Children learn a lot through imitation and are more likely to become readers themselves if they see that their parents and other adults value reading.
At what age is reading aloud useful?
Reading aloud is not just reading a book text aloud. Reading aloud is looking at and describing pictures together, deciphering letters and words on posters, singing songs, inventing fairy tales or using story apps. It can’t start early enough. Even in infancy, children learn a lot about their environment and the language spoken in their surroundings. Even if babies and toddlers do not yet understand what is being read aloud, they still benefit from this experience. The older the child gets, the more he or she benefits from being read to.
Our tips for reading aloud:
- Reading aloud can be a common ritual that children like to share with their parents or other caregivers. For example every evening before going to sleep.
- Digital media such as e-books, audio books or interactive reading games can also inspire children to read. However, it is important to make sure that the media are age-appropriate and educationally valuable.
Tip: There are so-called creative Tonies for the Toniebox. They are freely recordable, so you can also record your own stories!
- Children should have the opportunity to choose books themselves and thus develop their reading skills and interest in reading. Joint trips to the library or a bookshop can help in this regard.
- The city library is an endless treasure trove of books – the children’s card is free!