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The power of reading together

Posted on 07th of March 2024

Reading plays such an important part in a child’s development.

Not only does it teach them how to form words and sentences, it helps concentration while strengthening the memory and encouraging imagination and creativity.

Here, to celebrate World Book Day, Mrs Webster looks at the power of reading with your child. 

From babies to children in their early years and through to early teens, reading brings a wide range of benefits that can have a lifelong positive impact.

At Pilgrims, we foster a love for learning. We recognise the correlation between reading and academic success is unmistakable.

As the saying goes – practice makes perfect, so the more books your child reads at home, the faster they will learn, and this will help them at school.


Emotional development 

Beyond academic benefits, shared reading fosters emotional development.

Children who engage in reading with their families are more likely to experience enhanced happiness, better mental wellbeing and increased self-esteem.

Shared reading in the early years also builds a secure attachment between the child and their parent or caregiver.

Emotional closeness, expressed through cuddles, smiles and shared laughter during reading sessions, activates a child’s brain and contributes to a sense of safety.


Reading routine 

At Pilgrims, we encourage all our parents and carers to establish a reading routine with their children.

I recommend reading with your child as much as possible, but three to four times a week as a minimum.

Regular reading not only forges a connection between parent and child from early on but also strengthens family bonds.

Families that share the joy of reading together create opportunities for meaningful discussions, empathy-building and attachment formation, providing a solid foundation for the child’s overall development.

By starting to build a love of reading for pleasure, parents are giving their children the opportunity to be the best they can be.

Children who read for fun do better in a wide range of subjects at school and it also positively impacts children’s wellbeing.


Bedtime reading

Bedtime reading is a great way to relax, unwind and get ready for a new day so, if you can fit it into an evening it will benefit both you and your child.

Reading bedtime stories for as long as your children want them will extend that special time with your child and continue to help them experience stories in different ways.

Whether it’s Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or Room on a Broom, hearing a story being read to you is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable things you can experience, at any age.

Research has also found children aged 3-5 who are read to at bedtime sleep longer.

Sleep plays a crucial role in the development of children, impacting their growth, motor skills, attention, behavioural regulation, memory, mood and resilience.


Read Their Way 

This year’s World Book Day theme, ‘Read Their Way’, emphasises the importance of letting children choose their books and enjoy the process of reading.

Pilgrims encourages families to bring reading to life at home through activities like a family book club, where even the youngest members can share their thoughts and opinions.

Perhaps you could encourage your child to pick up one of their favourite books from when they were younger. This may rekindle memories of learning to read for the first time. It will also show them just how far they have progressed and maybe how their taste in books has changed.

This approach not only makes reading enjoyable but also nurtures a lifelong love for books.


So, whether you’re reading to your children, hearing them read, or sharing a book together, the power of reading together should not be overlooked.

The world of imagination which reading opens up and the information they learn emphasises the importance of reading with your children.