To celebrate National Read a Book Day, we’re asking, “what are the benefits of reading for children?”
National Read a Book Day is an awareness day which runs annually on the 6th of September. It was set up in order to persuade people all over the UK to read more and, most importantly, to enjoy it too!
Though the day doesn’t focus solely on the reading habits of children, we’re taking the opportunity to do so! That’s because it’s important to start early; the benefits which reading from a young age are endless.
At Hand Made Places, we’re proud to inspire children to read with our fabulous storytelling products, and we’d love to see more people encouraging children to read in any way they can. That’s why we’ve outlined the top five developmental benefits of reading for children.
Reading is a great way to aid cognitive development. That’s because it stimulates the cognitive area in the brain, thus helping to improve memory and concentration.
Regular reading will ‘exercise’ the brain allowing it to function at an improved rate.
Cognitive stimulation can, even from a very young age, help you in later life. That’s because regularly working on your brain function can help to reduce your risk of developing conditionas like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Therefore encouraging children to read will help set them up for a healthier life.
Reading is a great way to broaden a child’s mind; with a selection of different books, a child can improve their knowledge. It can also help them to understand the complex issues in the world around them.
Even reading fantasy stories can improve this understanding. Tales of witches, wizards, princesses and knights often raise the idea of “right and wrong” in a child friendly manner.
They may even provide an introduction to ideas surrounding life and death. This can really help when it comes to approaching otherwise taboo topics. After all, it’s no bad thing for a child to initially develop this understanding in terms of dragon slaying, for example.
As well as improving knowledge, reading can also help to broaden your vocabulary. Quite simply, the more a child is exposed to, the more they will learn!
Reading is perfect for the developing mind as it promotes healthy curiosity. When children come across unfamiliar words they’ll learn to ask questions and do their own research.
Even at a young age, these inquisitive minds can begin to learn larger words and their meanings. Significantly, they’ll learn how to use this vocab in a sentence – a great way to help improve their literacy abilities.
Following on from vocabulary, regular reading can also help to improve overall literary progression.
As they read more and more books of increasing difficulty, these children are introduced to different and more interesting grammatical styles. Now, this doesn’t mean children will necessarily notice individual grammatical rules. However it’s enough to simply pick up various ways to write and communicating.
For example, reading regularly introduces children to new ways of framing sentences allowing them to progress from the traditional capital letter and full stop, on to more complex punctuation.
These new writing techniques will then allow them to progress on to specific styles of writing, such as “informative” or “persuasive”. These are skills they can carry with them through school, and into adult life.
Each of the developmental benefits of reading feed into and enhance one another. When a child improves their cognitive abilities, it’s not just their health and mental dexteriy which benefits.
The cognitive area of the brain is linked to the ability to concentrate. This means that reading, as well as developing literacy skills, can also help children in other subjects.
By improving a child’s ability to concentrate you can help to improve behaviour in class. Thus resulting in young readers taking in more knowledge and developing the skills they are taught.
With so many developmental benefits of reading for children, what better day to begin than on National Read a Book Day?
If you’re stuck for where to start, why not check out our Read a Book Day blog from last year? It has a great list of suggested reads for children who are new to reading!
Schools and local authorities can also further inspire a love of reading by using equipment from our storytelling range. Our Story Circle, complete with Storytellers Chair is a great suite which encourages role play, encouraging children to have fun with their reading. Remember, a bit of creativity and imagination is perfect way to get primary school aged children involved in this highly beneficial pass time.