Children love having books read to them, but do you love reading them to your child? Especially the same book, again and again, and AGAIN! Every parent has probably inwardly groaned at the thought of reading that same book ANOTHER time to their child. Do you wonder if this is helping your child’s learning and should you steer them to a new book you have read less often?

Reading together is fun

Why do babies and children love to be read to?

Why do children like being read to?  There are so many reasons! 

  • They love the intimacy of snuggling in to read a story with someone who is focussed on them
  • They love the opportunity to relax
  • They love the pictures and the story
  • They love the chance to communicate and listen
  • They love your attention

Why is this ‘reading experience’ important?

There are many reasons why reading to a young child is important – and has valuable learning potential.  Reading to a young child will;

  • encourage a love of books and future independent reading
  • develop language and vocabulary
  • develop listening skills
  • develop communication skills
  • develop observation skills
  • develop questioning skills
  • encourage understanding of the world around them

Why do babies and children want to reread the same book?  It is a good thing?  Is it helping or hindering their learning? 

Young babies and children love repetition. They actually need it.  It helps them understand and retain information. It helps the synapse connections in their brain to become stronger.  Children and babies will learn vocabulary from repeated use.  They will memorise the text and become familiar with the words, just like you do. They will begin to understand how individual sounds come together to form words. Their language skills will develop as they begin to identify the pattern and the rhythm of the words in the story.  When you read a story for the first time, there is so much to take in -  the pictures, the sound of the words, the turning of the pages and of course the understanding of the actual text.  By repeatedly reading the same story this gives them time to be able to process all of these things. The repetition will help them to understand what the story is about and help their comprehension skills to develop.  Their speech will also improve as they listen to how you form the words and how each word sounds different. If you sometimes point to the words as you read, they will subconsciously be connecting the shape of the words to the sounds.  All of this will be helping them learn and to develop their language and literacy skills.

Man reading with his son

And, very importantly, all this reading experience will help to prepare your child for learning to read themselves, both at home and in a school setting.  They will already have the skills needed to sit and listen to a story, to ask questions, to predict text and to decode the individual sounds.  You will have prepared them for so much learning!

So, next time you feel like throwing the book out the window when your little one asks for it yet again, just think about all the learning opportunities that you are providing for them.  It’ll be worth it! If you want to learn more about what your baby is learning from the play you do together, or perhaps you want more ideas of things to do with your baby, why not download the Oliiki app today