Reading to your children not only fosters curiosity but a lifetime of learning too. Books like The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, or any number of children’s books are entertaining and educational for your child.
In this brief post, we’ll go over the benefits of reading to your children followed by some of our favorite books!
Benefits Of Reading To Your Children/Preteens
The brain of a child is sponge-like and malleable. They pick up information quickly – the average age for a child’s first word is only one year! Sure those first words aren’t anything near quotes from Robert Frost, but it’s something.
The first benefit should be obvious. Reading to your child and encouraging them to read alone (when possible) helps increase their literacy. It may seem drastic to push your child to read more at a young age. However, knowledge is power, and if the basis of knowledge is formed from facts and memory, reading well (and a lot) is the key to growth for your child!
The second benefit of reading to your child is spiking their curiosity. Children are growing and experiencing the world for the first time. It’s only logical that they’ll have questions about what they see. Sometimes those questions are humorous or poorly timed/embarrassing, other times they make sense. Books like Why Is Snot Green? By Glenn Murphy enthusiastically explain answers to many questions children have. That way, children can learn all about the world (and maybe not try to solve the mystery of snot by themselves).
Finally, reading to a child can promote devotion to education. It may seem obvious, but often, children who read more tend to do better in school. The reason behind this is two-fold: a greater intelligence and ability to focus from reading, as well as a greater desire to understand the material being taught. This is really an almost incalculable benefit because those traits can be applied to any discipline a child pursues.
Picture books and really simple books are good to read to a child too, but having them on the edge of their seat with a good chapter book is the best outcome. A good rule of thumb is any book that transports a child to another world. Some books that achieve this are (along with the above books):
Harry Potter (and series) by J.K. Rowling. This book tells the story of a young wizard who leaves his home and life as a muggle (non-magic person) when his world is turned upside down by a deranged, no-nose villain.
Divergent (and series) by Veronica Roth. This story depicts the life of a girl who lives in a dystopian future in which everyone is a subject of a clan, based on their traits, morals, and behavior. This works well for everyone until some clans seek too much power, and she finds herself at war.
The Hunger Games (and series) by Suzanne Collins. This book elaborates on another dystopia in which America is split into work districts, with richer people being from the Capitol District, as well as lower number districts like District 1. The main conflict occurs in the “Hunger Games”, a fight to the death where two representatives from each district fight to stay alive. The books have it all: love (not excessive), solid characters, and a good plot.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. These books are an age-old classic for anyone that enjoys adventure. The story starts off with Bilbo Baggins who is involuntarily thrust into an adventure to reclaim a dwarven mountain kingdom. Unbeknownst to him, the adventure he embarks on sets off great changes throughout the Middle Earth, unleashing a sleeping enemy.
While reading might seem like a lot for some parents, it can help usher in many benefits for your child in the long term. Even going so far as to have them listen to audiobooks is a win any time of the day.