ShareThis Page
In a Heartbeat

Why reading to children is so important

| Monday, June 12, 2017, 1:57 p.m.

Reading to young children is one of the best ways for them to develop their listening and speaking skills and grow their vocabularies, says Dr. Dawna Duff of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She explains why.

Why should adults read to young children?

Reading to kids is a fun way for adults to spend time with the children in their lives. When children read books with adults, they are constantly learning how sounds fit together into words and how to put words into sentences. These language skills will help them excel in reading and writing once they start school, and they will become even more evident in third and fourth grade. Knowing more words also helps children communicate with others and explain their ideas, and it can help to eliminate communication-related frustrations.

What kinds of books are best to read to young children?

The best books for young children contain flaps, things to touch and pictures of faces. Books with repetitive rhyming words and silly sounds help children learn that all letters make a different sound. For example, rhymes like “ball” and “fall” show children the difference between the “b” and “f” sounds. As children start to read and write independently, they will know to pay attention to the first letters in the word.

Rereading books can be tiresome for adults. Is it helpful for kids?

Rereading the same book over and over may seem redundant to adults, but it helps children commit new words to memory. Children who hear a new word repeatedly in one story learn more about that word than children who hear the word the same number of times in different books. As children get more familiar with a book, pause and wait for the child to finish the sentences. Explaining new words and asking children questions helps them expand their ability to communicate.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me