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Reading to children. Reading with children

Reading aloud is important for the growth of the child: it stimulates intelligence and affectivity. But it also represents a precious cuddle with mom and dad.

"Can you tell me a story?". There’s no mom or dad who hasn’t heard this question repeatedly. Behind this common request there is a fundamental need for the child. Reading is not only a pleasant and fun entertainment activity for the little ones. It also promotes the ability to listen, increases the ability to focus and concentration, stimulates curiosity and the development of language and communication and the processes of processing, interpretation and understanding. 

Reading a book before bed also offers a moment of calm with mom and dad. Reading a story in fact relaxes and accompanies the child towards a peaceful sleep. The lack of time that characterizes our time, however, is also compromising this healthy family habit. To raise the alarm is a study conducted in 2019 on 1000 parents in the United Kingdom with children under 10 years and commissioned by the association Charity BookTrust. In fact, 26% of the respondents admitted entrusting the reading of the bedtime story to voice assistants such as Alexa, to apps and so on.

According to the association Nati per Leggere, which in Italy since 1999 promotes early childhood reading also through the selection of books for all age groups, "reading aloud to children from an early age is a very engaging activity that strengthens the adult-child relationship". Several pediatricians confirm that reading shared during the first 3 years of life is the most important thing that parents can do to support the cognitive and emotional development of their children. Through daily listening to stories and stories, the child acquires a richer vocabulary and greater imagination, a better ability of expression and a growing curiosity.

Reading with children: dialogue reading

(Source: Nati per Leggere)

But it is not only useful and important to read to children, but also to read with children.

We speak in this sense of dialogue reading. The American pediatrician and psychologist Grover Whitehurst, coined this expression to describe that particular mode of reading practiced by an adult with a child in the form of interactive dialogue.

In the dialogue reading, mom and dad stimulate the child to participate in the reading of the book. 

  1. asking questions and stimulating the child to give a name to the objects of the book, to talk about the story;

  2. considers and expands the answers;

  3. repeats the statements of the child enriching them with new ideas.

In short: reading helps children grow. It is good for children, but also for families.

What kind of reading activities do you offer your children?

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