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Bedtime Books = Brilliant Babies: Why Now Is The Time To Read To Your Child

It’s impossible to overstate the positive effects reading has on a young mind. Study after study shows us that children who read regularly have an easier time with both academics and social life. As a bonus, reading aloud is a fun, free, and family-friendly form of entertainment — something every parent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic!

It’s impossible to overstate the positive effects reading has on a young mind. Study after study shows us that children who read regularly have an easier time with both academics and social life. As a bonus, reading aloud is a fun, free, and family-friendly form of entertainment — something every parent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic!

But don’t forget about yourself! Reading is an important skill that everyone should continue practicing into adulthood. Even just reading the newspaper or leafing through a chapter of a new book each day can help boost your mental well-being!

In this blog, I’m explaining why reading time is SO crucial for your child’s early development. You’ll also find a few reading tips along the way and a list of my all-time FAVORITE kid-approved books (and a few for you too)!

What Are The Benefits Of Reading Aloud To Kids?

1. Bookworms Get a Brain Boost

It might sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, but reading literally rewires our brains. Don’t believe me? Well then, you should check out the shocking MRI scans in a recent study done at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital!

Scientists compared the minds of preschoolers who were read to vs. kiddos who only used digital devices. They found that kids who were read to had far greater brain connectivity than those who were glued to their smartphones. Scientists also noted that kids who were exposed to books had much better comprehension and expression skills.

If that doesn’t convince you of the power of early reading, well, I don’t know what will!

Importance of Reading IG Post

2. Form A Book Bond With Your Little Buddy!

Beyond boosting your baby’s brain function, reading aloud is a beautiful way to bond with your little one. If you were read to during your childhood, you know just how powerful these memories can be! Plus, by creating positive associations with reading, it’s more likely your child will naturally gravitate towards books.  

But the book bonding doesn’t have to stop after your little baby grows up. As your kiddo matures and explores more complex texts, you can encourage his or her reading habits by having discussions about these new stories. Reading alongside your child will help you better understand his or her interests, talents, and personality.    

3. Explore Challenging Topics In A Safe Space

Another huge benefit of reading is that it encourages your child to ask difficult questions in a safe space. There are many children’s books that tackle touchy topics in such a graceful way for kiddos — like bullying, discrimination, and fear. Early exposure to these issues, as well as the successful strategies taught in these books, could better prepare them for the inevitable “growing pains.”

By reading about real-world issues at home, you can teach your little ones the importance of self-esteem and sympathy. You could also remind your children that they should feel comfortable sharing their problems and concerns with you.

How To Add Some Zest To A Reading Routine

Keep The Conversation Going: Ask Plenty Of Questions

Reading naturally provokes curiosity, so you should be ready for a boatload of questions from your kiddo. You could also prepare a few questions beforehand to test your child’s comprehension skills.

During your conversations, be sure to figure out what your little one is most interested in reading about. Pay attention to what texts light up their imagination so you could pick the perfect topic for your next reading adventure.  

Play-Acting & Painting: Ignite Their Imagination  

You don’t need a TV to take intergalactic journeys — all you need is a good book, a few props, and a whole lot of imagination! It’s SUCH a blast and keeps the kiddos entertained for hours!

If acting isn’t for your child, try creating a game out of their favorite stories! You can make a pirate treasure map and hide treats throughout your home. You could also get a few paintbrushes and encourage them to draw episodes from their favorite chapters! The possibilities are endless — all you need is just a bit of creativity!

Sign Up For Community Activities

What better way to support your child’s love of reading than to sign up for family-friendly group activities? First, you should check your local library for special events and gatherings. At these get-togethers, your child will have the opportunity to not only grow his or her reading skills, but also interact with fellow bookworms!

Along with your local library, you can also sign up for reading groups online! For instance, Virtual Book Club For Kids has a BUNCH of socially distant ways to stay connected.

My Top Recommended Books For Kids

OK, now that you’re convinced reading is EXTREMELY significant for early childhood development, you might be wondering where to begin. If you’re looking for kid-friendly favorites to add to your bookshelves, try out my favorite books for little ones!

*Please note that I may receive a small commission when you purchase through my Amazon links below. Thank you for shopping!

Best For Pre-Readers (Ages 0 – 2)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the definition of a classic children’s book. Even 21st-century toddlers are amazed at how this page-expanding caterpillar transforms into a majestic butterfly. Just be sure to have a few snacks nearby, because your little one might get hungry looking at all of those colorful foods!

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

This is a great one for teaching your little ones early on about being confident! Giles Andreae’s funny and touching book follows Gerald the giraffe, as he finds himself as an outsider and learns to accept himself!

Best For Beginner Readers (Ages 3 – 5)

Llama Llama Red Pajama By Anna Dewdney

A recent classic, Llama Llama Red Pajama makes bedtime even more entertaining for your little ones! The fun rhymes and vibrant illustrations make this a must-have for any house with beginner bookworms.

Where The Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak

An icon of the 1960s, Where the Wild Things Are is perfect for parents who have rowdy boys in their home. Max’s incredible journey to a monster-infested island remains one of the most remarkable portrayals of anger, fear, and forgiveness.

Best For Independent Readers (Ages 6 – 8)

The Worries: Sohal Finds a Friend by Jion Sheibani

This one by Jion Sheibani came out in 2021 and it’s quickly becoming a popular read amongst elementary schoolers! If you have a kiddo who worries a lot, this book will be a good one to help them let their cares float away!

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid By Jeff Kinney

If your little one has fears about the first day of school, then have them read the hilarious exploits of the “wimpy” Greg Heffley. Told with a sharp first-person voice and packed with funny drawings, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has become an unofficial survival guide for middle-schoolers.

Best For Pre-Teen Readers (Ages 9 – 12)

Matilda By Roald Dahl, Illustrated By Quentin Blake

Matilda is a fantastical novel that’s perfect for young female readers. Although Matilda has powerful psychic abilities, Dahl emphasizes Matilda’s morality and intelligence as she confronts some terrifying adult figures. 

A Wrinkle In Time By Madeleine L’Engle

Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is a dazzling novel that centers on Meg Murry’s quest to find her father in an alternate dimension. Children who love sci-fi and fantasy are the best fit for this award-winning young adult novel. 

My Top Recommended Books For Mamas

Hey, you didn’t think I’d forget about the moms out there, did you? If you need a new book to read or you’re looking to get back into reading, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin
  2. The Sh!t No One Tells You by Dawn Dais
  3. Here In The Middleby Christine Organ and Julie Jo Severson
  4. Mom Truths by Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer (aka the famous duo of Cat and Nat!)
  5. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

What are some of your favorite reads for yourself and your kiddos? DM me on Instagram with your book picks! XOXO