Benefits of Reading Out Loud to Your Children

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Did you know that there are many benefits of reading out loud to your children, even when they can read themselves? 

I am a homeschooling mother of six children. I read a lot, and my children read a lot. But I also read aloud to my children. It’s a great opportunity to be close and intimate. Children love to cuddle up to their parents and reading to children is a great way to spend quality time together.

Today I’ll be sharing some of the benefits of reading aloud to children, along with some of our favourite books.

Happy family reading together on a couch.

Advantages of Reading Aloud to Children

Reading aloud models reading behaviour to my children. When children are first learning to read, it is hard work. A lot of effort goes into decoding the language, and they may not enjoy reading for this reason. Additionally they may not get into the flow of the story because of the halting between words. 

When I read to them, they get to be immersed in the language, the imagery, the characters and the story line without that hard effort at an earlier age. It models to them where they aim to be with their reading and most importantly helps them to fall in love with books.

Statistics on the benefits of reading aloud to kids.

It creates family togetherness and memories. My children and I are bonded together by a number of books close to our hearts. We are connected by the stories we read as a family in scriptures, but our connection is not limited to that.

Some of our favourite connecting books include The Hobbit, the Narnia series, Cheaper by the Dozen and Laddie

The togetherness of books persists beyond reading time. While we are cleaning the house together a conversation usually starts with “remember in … book …” and by the end we are usually laughing away together.

Infographic on the benefits of reading aloud to kids.

Reading to Kids Is Great for Their Future.

Reading out loud benefits children in many ways. It provides teaching moments. Yesterday we were reading Understood Betsy, a book about a girl and her friends sewing a set of clothes for an orphan boy. After we read, we discussed as a family the merits of doing kind acts in secret rather than openly for praise. We were also able to connect this to times when we as a family have done secret acts of service for others.

I can choose to read books that model the desirable character traits that I want my children to develop. I chose The Velveteen Rabbit to teach about love, Charlotte’s Web to teach true friendship, and The Ugly Duckling to teach my children they all have potential. 

I believe this is so important when the modern society in which we live is often modeling character traits that we do not want to cultivate in our children.

Statistics on the benefits of reading aloud to kids.

How to Read Out Loud Successfully

  1. Have a regular family reading time. Bedtimes are often best as reading is a quiet activity that can help children wind down from the business of the day. Dim the lights by using a bedside lamp or book light.
  2. If your children are not used to being read to, start with short stories which are complete in the whole reading time. Build up to longer stories, then chapter books.
  3. If it is hard to get the children interested, you may need to set a challenge. Maybe you get to go out for a treat when you have finished a storybook. We have done this when reading very difficult and long books. But for the majority of books, once the habit has begun, the children look forward to story time.

Best Books for Preschool Kids

  1. No David by David Shannon
  2. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  3. The Children’s Book of Virtues by William Bennett
  4. Chasing Degas by Eva Montanari
  5. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Best Books for Primary School Kids

  1. Charlotte’s Web by EB White
  2. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  3. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  4. In Grandma’s Attic series by Arleta Richardson
  5. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
  6. The Original Winnie the Pooh stories by AA Milne

Best Books for Older Children

  1. The Narnia Series by CS Lewis especially The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  2. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
  3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  4. The Little Princes and Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  5. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  6. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Best Books for High School Kids

  1. Little Britches by Ralph Moody
  2. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
  3. Pollyanna by EH Porter

There are so many benefits of reading to your child. You can create time for closeness, find teachable moments, and model good behavior. No matter what their age, when you read aloud for kids, you are creating wonderful memories.

Teddy bear reading a book.

Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy crafts here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!

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  1. I always try to read stories to my kids before bedtime and I hope they continue to love books til they grow bigger. Great advice… Thanks for sharing! #AnythingGoes

    1. It’s great to read to kids! My hubby has started taking in turns as well so now Sylvia gets stories from him some nights! Angela xx

  2. we read every bedtime, bar a few late nights if we have been super busy, and the kids really enjoy it, mostly I read to them but sometimes harry (6 years old) will read some then I will usually read a short story after he has finished. x

    1. My daughter and I, sometimes sing the books.. I know it may sound strange but we find that fun too! ha ha!- Sylvia started to read much better around 6 years and over the year her reading has improved massively! Reading is so important and really does help kids! Angela xx

  3. Love this! We read a story every night before bed and try to set aside a little bit of extra time each day to read a few more. Thank you for the great book suggestions as well 🙂

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this post! The book suggestions are good- thanks sis for the post! It’s not easy to make time for reading but it sure does help kids!

      Angela x

  4. You know I am big into reading to my kids Ang, so I totally agree with you here. Great list of books too Deborah. We love the Kipper books, they have specific topics which are helpful to teach the kids about different things. For example, there’s going to the Dentist, first day of school, etc. #twinklyTuesday

    1. We like the kipper books too! Sylvia read these ones with me at her school in Yorkshire before we moved to Lancashire..and it’s always fun reading about topics/subjecs etc. One of our favourite books at the minute is FunnyBones! Sylvia loves it and I have lost count of how many times we read it! Now Sylvia likes to read the words. We also love Hairy McClairy written by a New Zealand Author! Angela x

  5. Great post. I totally agree with you about the benefits of reading aloud to your children.Even older kids enjoy being read to. Thanks for sharing #KidsCorner

  6. I totally agree with you about the benefits of reading to children. Even older kids enjoy being read to and if the book is appropriate can still learn so much. Thanks for sharing #KidsCorner

    1. Thanks Sara. It’s a brilliant way to read together and there are so many benefits! We also like to follow along to cd/dvd and enjoy read-a-long books too! Angela xx

    2. I agree Sara, even I find myself learning lessons . If you are reading to multiple age groups often they are understanding the story on their own level. The younger ones just enjoying the story, but the older children capable of thinking and discussing the ideas and morals the story contains.

  7. Thanks for this list of books! I always try to read a book before bed time… Lately has been difficult as my lo is already so exhausted! But this is so important we certainly have to make a greater effort to do some reading 🙂

    1. It’s not easy and mums are so busy these days but even one story a day is better than none and research shows it can make a huge difference to children’s development. Not just literacy but also self esteem and bonding etc. Angela x

    1. I agree. We are reading Little Men at the moment and it is so much more enjoyable having someone to laugh with.

  8. We read to Monkey every night, as he’s only 3 I didnt really think about reading to him when he’s older I just guessed it would stop at some point, however I will be making sure its when he’s a lot older 🙂 Thanks for the list of books suggestions too x

    1. Thats great Clare that you read to Monkey. I too did not consider the importance of continuing to read out loud but after reading what my sister had to say I totally see it is important for so many reasons.

      Angela xx

  9. I totally agree, especially with your point that as children are learning to read, they often don’t fully appreciate the story itself, and reading aloud allows them to hear the story behind the words. I love your recommended books – I remember a fair few of them from my childhood and they still stay with me now 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes (sorry for the late comment, busy week!)

    1. I’m glad you like the book list. I am sad to say that many of these books I never read when I was growing up, although I did read a lot. I wish I had read these as there are so many worthwhile lessons in them. But I am glad I have discovered them in time to share with my own children.

  10. Love love love this!!! I hope to be able to read to mine for years to come. Thanks for sharing in #KidsCorner x

  11. My daughters are 9 and mostly read silently and independently. We had to go to the ER/A&E last night, and my little scared one asked me to read to her from our Winnie the Pooh compendium. Ultimately, reading together can serve as true comfort! Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

  12. Fab tips during the summer our bed time routine has gotten a little messed up and I am missing that precious time to read a story for bed must get back into it. Thankyou for linking up to #KidsCorner x

  13. We love reading. I was a book worm when i was young and wanted Maisy to be 🙂 I didnt really have a sport to encourage her to follow me with hehe great blog #snotallaboutyou

  14. Thanks for this post. This is very good advice. I love reading to my one year old and I want him to be really into and excited by books. Recently we’ve been reading books that make noises. The farm yard book where farm yard animals make noises and a book called Noisy Bottoms in which animals in the forest fart (yes, that was Gramdma’s sense of humour) are our current favourites.

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