But we didn’t really discuss why it’s so important.
It’s obvious why we, as adults, need to read. We’d struggle to get through the day if we didn’t have such a basic skill.
But it’s just as important that children under five start reading as soon as they can. And here’s why.
Reading Will Boost Their Mental Skills
Reading is incredibly powerful. It has a big impact on a child’s mental development.
As they read more and more, children will improve their concentration. Focusing on one thing for an extended period of time is good practice for when they start school in a few years.
Your child probably won’t be old enough to read by themselves just yet, but if you read with them, it will have the same effect.
In a similar way, reading can also improve memory. That’s because memory is a key part of following a story. They need to remember characters and things that have happened.
You can help here when reading with them. “Remember when this character said that thing to the other character” will make it easier for them.
Reading Is Good Exercise for the Brain
Physical exercise is obviously essential. But the brain needs a good workout too.
And reading is a great way to do that. As your child is young, reading will be difficult for them at first, so they’ll have to really concentrate – and use all their brain power.
If this can be done every day, even better.
The more your child reads, the better a reader they’ll become. They will learn new words and vocabulary without even being taught them in school or by their parents.
Obviously, they’re not going to be reading anything too complicated at first. But even simple children’s books can have a massive impact on their development.
Reading Develops Writing and Language Skills
Writing goes hand in hand with reading, really. You need to learn what words mean, and what they look like, before you can start putting them down on paper yourself.
Children learn about language and how to speak through listening to those around them.
But they get exposed to more words, and the structure of sentences, by looking at books.
Some parents want their children to be able to speak multiple languages – and reading is a great way of doing that too.
And as we’ve already mentioned. The more they read, the faster they’ll learn.
Reading Helps Children Learn about the World
It’s not just about learning words, understanding language and developing those skills.
It’s also about the actual content of the books they’re reading.
There are thousands and thousands of children’s books out there – many filled with interesting characters going on exciting adventures.
These stories teach children about people and places they don’t see in their everyday lives. Stories can be set anywhere in the world.
Reading books is a fantastic way of discovering just how big and diverse the world is. And it helps children develop their imagination.
Reading is Fun
At the end of the day, reading is fun. And we want our children to have fun.
The fact that it’s good for them, helps them learn, and develops certain skills is important – but seeing them enjoy themselves tops all that.
Not all children will be as thrilled about reading as each other. But those that develop a love for it early on will greatly benefit later in life.
So even though your child might only be a couple of years old, helping them learn to read now can set them up for success when they start school in a few years.