Reading from an early age helps children broaden their vocabularies as they are exposed to words outside of their everyday vernacular. Literature also aids cognitive development as children are encouraged to form their own opinions about the characters or plot and think about things in greater depth. Without knowing it, as soon as we start to read a book we begin to hypothesise about the ending and evaluate the events that are taking place.
Children who read regularly demonstrate a more analytical approach in other areas of their education. Reading also develops a child’s ability to concentrate for extended periods boosting them academically as they are able to remain task focused for longer periods. This is particularly advantageous in an age where increasing screen time appears to be having an adverse effect on a child’s ability to remain focused on one activity for more than a few minutes at a time.
Literature exposes children to the lives of other people, from different countries, cultures, and economic backgrounds. It introduces them to ideas they may never have considered and allows them to expand their understanding of the world. This encourages them to develop empathy and emotional intelligence, promoting more effective social skills and personal relationships later in life.
Most children’s books contain a central message which advocates the importance of moral values. Reading is a great way for children to begin to explore morality, as they will see desirable traits such as kindness and courage modelled by the characters in a story. This empowers children to develop their own moral compass, leading them to grow into valuable members of society.