Reading to Your Kids: The Positive Effects Start Earlier Than You would Think

We have all heard that reading out loud to our kids is important, but why is it so essential and what age do the benefits begin? Below, we will dive into family story time, its incredible benefits from the baby days through adulthood, and how you can set up the perfect reading session for everyone in your home:


How Babies Benefit from Reading Out Loud

“My baby is months away from talking. Should I really be reading to her already?”


The answer is yes! Even the youngest of babies can begin to benefit from hearing their parents read out loud. It introduces little ones to the endless learning opportunities that will come from books in the future.


Reading to babies is beneficial for a variety of real, proven reasons, including that it improves language acquisition as your child hears more words (and more grammatically correct sentence structure) than they do in everyday life. You might not talk about dump trucks, excavators, and backhoes daily, but these terms are almost sure to be introduced in a construction-related story.


Reading out loud to babies also encourages looking, pointing, touching, sound copying, and image recognition. The various tones you use while you read can even be an introduction to the social-emotional skills that are so important as your child grows.

How Big Kids Benefit from Reading Out Loud

The benefits of reading out loud never go away, even if your child is nearing an age that seems “too old” to read to.


Preschoolers and kids who are just entering the classroom will be better prepared with family reading experience because it enhances their listening skills and vocabulary recognition. They will be able to understand more of the verbal instruction that occurs and skills giving them a boost forward compared to their peers that may just stick around for years to come.


Bigger kids, even all the way through high school age, can benefit from family story time thanks to its bonding effects and its ability to instill a lifelong love for books and general learning. Plus, what better way is there to relax after a long day than listening to one of your favorite plots play out before your ears?

Creating the Perfect Family Reading Session

Family story time does not have to be perfectly planned out, but a few unique ideas can help make it a huge success:


  • Find a cozy spot to sit, whether that’s your child’s room, the living room couch, or a reading nook you have created with pillows and other comfortable items
  • Choose something that will interest your child. It does not have to be all educational — even a comic book will bring the lasting benefits of bonding and language acquisition
  • Slow down! Read through the pages slowly and give your child a chance to look at each piece of the picture. You can even talk through the details in the image if you would like
  • Make it a part of your daily routine. Choose a time each day, such as after dinner or before tucking everyone in for the night and read at least a small amount each day. The habit will keep your child interested while showing them that reading is something they don’t need to go a day without.

Choosing the Best Books to Read Out Loud

This incredible resource from Scholastic can help you choose the best books to read out loud to your child. It has 100 titles to get you started, and you are able to sort the list by age group to find the perfect selections for your specific family members.


Do not forget to check out our great selection of books for all ages at Timeless Toys, too. You can find our options online by clicking here, or stop by to chat about family story time titles with one of our amazing staff members in store.