The benefits of reading far outweigh that of almost any other educational activity.  By making every day reading a priority for your family, you are not only enhancing your child’s chances of success but also helping to make them kinder, more grounded individuals.  Here are some of the ways in which reading can be beneficial.  

Reading to young children sets them up for academic success

The benefits of reading are both short and long term. Reading to babies and toddlers enhances their visual and auditory perceptual skills.  Not only does this help them to understand the world better when they are young, but these skills also gives them a head start for learning once they get to school. 

The benefits of reading includes increased vocabulary and knowledge

While you may speak with your child every day, the vocabulary we use in our everyday lives is more limited and repetitive than you might realise. By reading books you can ensure that your child is exposed to vocabulary on different topics.  Exposing them to words or phrases which they may not hear otherwise.  In fact, a shocking result from a study by Ohio State University shows that children who are read to often know about 1.4 million more words by the age of 5 than their peers who are not read to!

Reading exercises your child’s brain and builds concentration

Reading to children increases brain connectivity.  It helps to develop auditory and visual perception. And also develops their understanding of the world.  Some studies have even found that it helps to protect against mental illness.  

Your toddler may wiggle and run around while you’re reading to them.  And you may worry that they’re not listening to the story.  But keep reading.  I promise they’re taking in in.  And the more you read to them, the better their concentration will become.


 Reading develops a child’s imagination, creativity and empathy

When you read to your child they are imagining the setting, the characters and their actions.  Even though the story may have pictures, your child still needs to use their imagination to bring the static pictures to life.  Children will also put themselves in the characters’ shoes.  Experiencing what they are going through.  Feeling their feelings.  This is a fantastic way to build true empathy and compassion.

They are more likely to pick this healthy form of entertainment

When children are exposed to reading early on, they are more likely to chose books as a leisure activity later.  This creates a much healthier balance between reading and screen time that is likely to last throughout their life.

Reading together helps to create a bond

What better way to wind down after a busy day than cuddling up to your little one with a great book? Reading promotes conversation. We are more likely to chat about our day after reading a story than we are after passively watching TV.  It also promotes physical closeness.  You’ll have to huddle together to see the pictures in the book.  Much more so than in front of a big screen TV.



If you can’t afford, or don’t have access to many books, there are many free online books for kids.

For more information about the importance of reading, or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at