Five reasons why you should read to your child

It’s World Read Aloud day on 1 February. Here’s how your child can benefit from this simple activity.


While children whose parents frequently spend time conversing with them already have a head start, it’s only in books, newspapers and magazines that enriching vocabulary is seen.

A child who hears these types of words has a giant advantage. Reading aloud increases a child’s attention span, and when you read aloud, you’re whetting your child’s appetite for reading, and there is evidence that we don’t remember information as well when we read it on a screen.

You can boost your child’s learning potential simply by making books an integral part of her live.

If that’s not convincing enough, here are five more reasons from why you should read to your child:

  1. Your child learns basic speech skills. Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, your child learns critical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read, your little one is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language.
  2. Academic excellence. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education.
  3. Better communication skills. Toddlers who are read to are more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read to your child, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.
  4. Enhanced concentration and discipline. Your toddler may initially squirm and become restless and distracted during story time, but he’ll eventually learn to sit still and focus for the duration of the book. This will develop a longer attention span and better memory retention, all of which will serve your child well when he starts big school.
  5. Acclamation to new experiences. When your child experiences a potentially stressful situation, sharing a relevant story is a great way to help ease the transition.

ALSO SEE: Moms share their best books for bedtime reading

Promoting literacy in South Africa

According to a recently released Progress in International Reading Literacy study, 78% of Grade 4 learners can’t read for meaning in any language.

READ Educational Trust has a lifelong focus of promoting literacy in South Africa and have launched the ‘Read Aloud Magic’ sets alongside Reading Matters – a vital tool in encouraging reading aloud, at home and at school.

Each set retails for R1 500, and can be bought online at The Read Shop, on or directly from Reading Matters.

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