Why Reading Aloud to Children is Important

Being read to is a truly magical experience. We let our guard down when someone we love is reading to us and become capable of processing fictional worlds, characters and enchantments with our imagination. In this regard, reading aloud to children is a great way to develop their creativity, literacy, relationship and overall learning skills. When children are learning to read, they are learning to associate shapes with sounds and meaning. Reading aloud helps children form connections in this regard. Reading aloud doesn’t happen as often as it should in early learning environments, perhaps due to the distractions of digital media in today’s classroom. In this blog post we discuss why reading aloud to children is important. 

Visual Media is Distracting 

Classrooms today often have an underlying focus on learning via digital media. This may stem from prioritisation of science, technology, engineering and maths learning or, perhaps, from investment from the tech industry in the education sector. In any case, watching movies or playing games on screens is generally a solitary activity and can leave children frustrated about the excess energy they have after engaging with digital media. In contrast, research shows that a larger number of neurons are firing in a child’s brain when they are read to; compared to when they are engaging with a screen in the classroom. Furthermore, reading aloud to children draws them together and creates a space for natural imaginative interaction. This settles children and helps their brains engage in deep and sustained attention. 

Developing Brains Need Appropriate Stimulation 

Listening to stories, especially while looking at pictures, stimulates children’s brain networks and fosters optimal cognitive development. When children have stories read to them on a regular basis, they are more likely to grow into adults who enjoy strong relationships and have a sharper focus, greater emotional resilience and better self-control. Children who are read aloud to often frequently show higher levels of receptiveness as well as the ability to understand literacy and language. They also display higher creativity and imaginative capability. To summarise, children’s brains between the ages of 0 and 8 years old have incredible plasticity and are learning all the time. By reading aloud to children in this age bracket, you enhance their creative and literary development and ensure they are able to empathise with their peers by using their imagination 

Reading Aloud is a Fantastic Teaching Tool 

Teachers should be encouraged to use reading aloud as a teaching tool to foster children’s imagination and literacy proficiency. Teachers can extend on reading aloud by staging the learning environment and expanding on themes which pique children’s interest. When children are a bit older, silent reading can also be used to the same effect as reading aloud.  

Contact Robyn Taylor 

At Robyn Taylor Early Childhood Centre, we incorporate a range of reading strategies to help children develop their imagination and literacy skills. If you would like to learn more about the Robyn Taylor Teaching Method, book a tour of our education centre or enrol your child, please use our contact page to reach out to us or call on 02 9705 8309.