The Health Benefits of Reading to Children

Various studies have shown that reading books together develops a stronger bond between parents and their children. However, apart from strengthening your relationship with your child, reading has many advantages in helping to children develop, especially those who are in school. Whether you’re reading printed books or electronic ones, take note that the most important variable is the fact that they are learning along with you. This enhances attachment, bonding and brain development. In this post, we want to enlighten parents and guardians on the other health benefits of reading to and with children.

Did you know that reading can increase brain development, attachment and IQ?

Photo Credit: Sean Dreilinger via Compfight cc

Enhances brain development

Research indicates that reading helps with focus and concentration, as well as academic performance. According to a study released by the Institute of Education (IOE) in 2013, children who enjoyed reading perform significantly better in their classes than other students. The research was conducted on almost 6,000 young people aged 5, 10, and 16, which revealed that “children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read.” The same study revealed that those students were seen reading books more often, visiting the library regularly, and reading newspapers. Their cognitive and vocabulary developments were notably evident, according to Dr. Alice Sullivan, one of the head of IOE research.

Develops their creativity and imagination

Apart from the books overriding message to the reader, the creativity of books help develop a child’s imagination. Dr. Seuss is among many authors that have influenced many book readers through verticals of creativity, whether young or old. According to him, it’s important to nurture the creativity by never stopping to believe and letting your imagination flow. Today, even world-renowned authors are said to have started reading books from an early age. In an interview by Tootsa MacGinty with Nadia Shireen, a nominee for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, she recalled going to the library weekly as a child. This subsequently inspired her to become a children’s book illustrator and author. When asked about how she thinks children perceive the world, she said that “[there’s] the feeling of powerlessness but also curiosity of being a kid.”

Other known health benefits of reading to Children:

Based on Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) organisation, parents must spare some time from their hectic schedules to read to their little ones, as it can develop and enhance various skill sets which are fundamental to their growing up. Here are other benefits of reading to children:

  • Develops longer attention span and concentration
  • Helps attach to caregivers and feel safe
  • Helps the child to rest well and stay calm
  • Enhances their vocabulary, thinking, and communication skills
  • Teaches infants and children to learn the basics of words and sounds

The most important thing that parents have to remember is to make reading to children more fun and less of a chore. This will help turn the process in a regular occurrence as they grow up. How do you encourage your little one to read books? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jenni pic siteJen Birch is a self-proclaimed UK’s no. 1 auntie who is a blogger by day and a reader by night. She believes that reading to her niece every night is not just a relaxing way to cap the day but also a great way to exercise her niece’s young mind. Fairy tales remain in her list of favorite books. Follow   her on Twitter @WrittenbyJenni.


Reading to your child has many health benefits. Studies show that the benefits of reading to children can be seen in brain development, behavior and IQ.


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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.




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