If you have children, you may already know that reading aloud can help strengthen your bond.
But did you know that reading to your child can also give them a head start on the development of their language skills?
Indeed, reading to your child provides a variety of benefits for their language skills, including:
- Improved auditory comprehension
- Improved expressive vocabulary
- Improved memory
If you’d like to learn about more activities that you can do with your child to help them build their language skills, speech therapy services for children can help.
But first, let’s look at some of the benefits of reading to children, as well as some speech therapy approved tips for reading books to your child.
Benefits Of Reading To Infants and Toddlers
There are several benefits to reading to your infant or toddler, including:
1. It Helps With Speaking Skills
Reading to infants and toddlers can help to set the foundation for future language and communication development.
Additionally, reading to your infant or toddler can help them learn about speech patterns.
For example, when your child hears you reading to them, they may be more likely to try to mimic the sounds you’re making.
If they struggle to mirror your emotions, it may be an early sign they will need speech therapy for autism spectrum disorder.
2. It Helps With Social Skills
Reading to your infant or toddler can also help the development of their social skills.
Picture books are especially helpful for developing social skills in young children.
Pointing and touching the pictures in a storybook is one way that helps your child’s social skills develop.
Additionally reading aloud to your child can also help build their emotional awareness.
If you want to help your child develop their emotional awareness through reading, make sure you:
- Use enthusiastic tones
- Use expressive sounds, such as “wow!”
- Use different voices for different characters
3. It Helps Them Learn About The World
Reading aloud also provides an opportunity for your child to learn about the world.
Older toddlers often have favorite books, and should be able to answer questions about it, such as:
- What was your favorite part of the book?
- Who was your favorite character?
- Did you think the story was going to end differently?
Additionally, reading aloud to your infant or toddler can help teach them to identify everyday objects in their world, such as animals or food.
4. It Teaches Them How Stories Work
Lastly, reading to your infant or toddler can help to teach them how stories work.
As your baby ages, they will learn how to hold the book and turn the pages.
These skills are important for future reading skills.
Benefits Of Reading To Preschoolers
As your child reaches preschool age, the benefits of reading aloud to them include:
1. It Helps Them Learn New Words
Reading to your preschooler gives them an opportunity to grow their vocabulary.
Additionally, reading to your preschooler will help them learn how to identify letters and match them with the sounds that they make.
To help your preschooler develop their vocabulary through reading, define words in the story that they don’t understand.
2. It Makes Them Want To Learn To Read
Reading to your preschooler can help encourage an appreciation for books and stories.
If you read to your child, they will be more likely to seek out books to read on their own.
As well, encouraging them to read can help you recognize sooner if they have a reading disability.
In that case, it’s important to seek out speech therapy early intervention to help them catch up.
3. It Helps Them Build Empathy
Finally, reading to your preschooler helps teaches about people and places that are much different than their own experiences.
By reading about different cultures or time periods in history, your child is learning how to understand situations they have never experienced.
Tips For Reading Books To Your Child
If you are wondering what you can do to help maximize the benefits of reading to your child, try these speech therapy approved tips.
1.Make Sure They Understand What They’re Hearing
When reading to your child, make sure they are understanding the story.
To do this, you can ask your child questions about the story to measure their comprehension.
Examples of such questions include:
- Who was the main character?
- What is the problem in the plot?
- How do the characters go about finding solutions to that problem?
2. Emphasize Important Words
You can help your child better understand the story by emphasizing words that are important to the story, or words that are new to your child.
In order to do this, you can play with pitch, speech rate, and loudness.
3. Relate The Story To Their Own Life
Help your child connect the story with experiences from their own life.
For example, ask your child how a character’s experiences remind them of things they have experienced themselves.
Doing this helps your child become more invested in the story.
4. Use Lots Of Action Words
Instead of using words that describe objects (nouns), use action words, locations, and words about time.
These words tend to inspire more excitement and emotion, especially in children.
5. Think Beyond The Pages
Encourage your child to think about what might occur in the story beyond the pages.
Ask your child questions, such as:
- What do you think would happen next?
- How is this story different from the one we last read?
- How could the characters have handled their problem differently?
Doing this helps your child develop their thinking, imagination, and problem solving skills.
Can Reading Help Babies Learn In Utero?
Reading to your child during pregnancy can help them learn language skills even before they are born.
Research shows that your baby can hear your voice and absorb language during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy.
A 2013 research study found that babies in utero who were subjected to audio recordings of words were able to recognize the word and variations of it once born.
Thus, there are benefits to reading to your child during pregnancy.
Book An Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Today
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of reading to your child, or other ways that you can help build your child’s language skills, we can help.
At Sol Speech and Language Therapy, our team of therapists have a passion for helping children develop their communication.
Book an appointment with Sol Speech and Language today to find out more.
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy
555 Round Rock W Dr E-221,
Round Rock, TX 78681
Sol Speech & Language Therapy offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.