Benefits of reading to young children

Most parents know that reading to young children is highly beneficial, and the benefits of reading to young children have been widely studied and analyzed. These benefits are listed and explained on many blogs, but most likely in a random way. In some cases, more than 10 benefits are listed, but a lot of them are practically the same or closely related.

In this article, the benefits are analyzed in 6 categories: brain development, communication, concentration, empathy, imagination and knowledge for better understanding.

1. Brain development

There are many studies which show that reading to a young child enhances his/her brain networks.

According to Dr. John S. Hutton (the lead author and a clinical research fellow), children who had been exposed to home reading showed significantly greater activation of a brain area that is “all about multisensory integration, integrating sound and then visual stimulation”. Also, Psychological Science in January 2013 indicated that reading to a child raises his or her IQ by over 6 points.

Above studies clearly indicate that reading to young children helps their brain development.


2. Communication

Reading to a young child is also beneficial for his/her effective communication with others.

Through reading, children’s language skill can be developed by exposing them to rich vocabulary on many topics. Rich vocabulary through reading is a great tool for effective communication.

As a bonus, a strong bond can be created and enhanced through intimate communication between parents and children while reading to them.


3. Concentration

If a child does not like a book, it is not recommended to push him/her to listen to the book. Reading / listening to boring books may not improve concentration. Instead, it may cause a drawback of disliking books in general.

So, it is necessary to find books in which a child shows some interest. By reading interesting books repeatedly, children learn to sit still and concentrate for a while. Through these activities, concentration technique can be developed.


4. Empathy

Reading is a great indirect emotional experience. Children develop empathy by putting themselves into the story. They will think how each character in the story is acting, feeling and thinking. After reading, conversation with parents on the analysis of each character is a great technique to enhance children’s empathy.


5. Imagination

While listening to a story, children imagine what the characters are doing and what events are occurring. Vivid imagination & prediction of what will happen next will be an amazing virtual experience. Especially, fantasy books provide material for his/her expansive imagination.




6. Knowledge

Increasing knowledge is the most obvious and fundamental benefit of reading / listening to books. Books teach children about the world around them, and the world around them can be expanded through books. Books also encourage a thirst for knowledge for children. The benefit of increasing knowledge can never be over-emphasized.


The benefits of reading books for children are categorized and explained. I hope these explanations are clear to understand and helpful to parents. Through reading / listening to books from an early age, I hope our children grow up happy and make our world a better place in the future.

5 thoughts on “Benefits of reading to young children”

  1. Great article.
    This has really given me food for thought. My wife reads with our son often, but i didnt realise just how important it is. Its not just an activity for them to do together its actually helping him.
    Maybe i should read with him some time.

  2. Hi

    Good to know that there are still people who think that reading to kids is a great idea!

    I’ve always read to mine, and I couldn’t agree more with all the benefits it gives them that you mention here.

    Reading with a child gives them special one-on-one time too which they love, and it’s a great time to get in a few extra hugs!


  3. I agree totally with your blog.

    I am a retired teacher.

    My mother (who was also a teacher) taught me to read when I was 4. So before I went to school I could read fluently. I also taught my daughters to read before they went to school, they are now 22 and 25. But, I do know that their early introduction to reading has meant they have been able to take advantage of their education. My elder daughter has a very good career and my younger daughter has just graduated from university.

    As you so eloquently explained in your blog, reading is vital to brain development, communication and language, both verbal and written communication and improved body language. Having an appreciation of reading does definitely improve empathy, it also helps children understand fun and comedy, it also builds enhanced empathy for pain, sorrow and heartache. When children read about people who are going through difficult times in their lives it teaches understanding and the importance of seeing life from many different facets.

    We need to teach our children the importance of embracing the message in the written word, to embrace our differences, their entrepreneurial abilities, to look for solutions and innovative ways of doing things and all that ability comes from teaching children to read and encouraging parents and or carers to read to their children and to explain as they read. In my experience both professionally and personally when the reader explains the story as they read the child engages in an altogether different way.

    To anyone reading this worthwhile blog, I want to encourage you to start reading to your children, even before they are born, to continue to do so if you do and when you do engage them in the experience. If you do you will enrich their lives in so many positive ways that they will thank you for doing so, just like my daughters have expressed to me so many times over the years, that I have lost count.

    Also, being taught to read when I was 4 led me to my career, my ability to communicate to have written a number of books, articles, blogs, becoming a psychotherapist, a hypnotherapist, a counsellor, a specialist in anxiety and other conditions, a public speaker and a local politician.

    I really hope people find your blog and you continue to teach and encourage parents to teach their children to read from an early age.

    I wish you success.

  4. Thank you for this important information. I know understand how important it is to read to my little daughter more often, and I will definitely keep in mind the benefits you mentioned.

    Best regards,


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