When to Begin Reading Stories to Children

Stories and books are indispensable resources when it comes to raising children, even before they acquire the ability to read.
When to Begin Reading Stories to Children

Last update: 24 December, 2019

Around the time children are 6 years old, they begin to develop reading skills – or even sooner. But many parents ask when to begin reading stories to their children.

What age do experts recommend for introducing children to reading? What are the benefits of promoting reading habits during early childhood? In the following article, we’ll answer all these questions.

Keep in mind that the first step to acquiring knowledge and new learning is reading. Therefore, it’s considered a basic skill in promoting a person’s cognitive development.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

–Joseph Addison–

When should we begin reading stories to our children?

When to Begin Reading Stories to Children
  • The first stage begins as soon as our children are born and lasts until little ones begin to develop reading skills. During this stage, children still cannot read, meaning they need someone else to read stories to them.
  • In the second stage, children acquire the ability to read. At this point, little ones read in the presence of others who can help them better understand what they’re reading.
  • During the third stage, children are able to read with autonomy, without the assistance of others. 

It’s important for mothers and fathers to make sure their children go through this process. Therefore, it’s essential that they create moments for reading as a family. For example, they can read a bedtime story to their children each night.

It’s also a good idea to possess a wide range of stories and children’s books on hand. You should keep the books somewhere in your home where your children can easily see and reach them. This will help stimulate their curiosity so they begin to grab the books with their hands and examine them freely.

“The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

– Dr. Seuss –

Characteristics to look for in a good children’s book

When it comes to choosing good stories and children’s books, you should make sure they possess most of the following characteristics:

  • Few words and short phrases.
  • Simple vocabulary.
  • Many attractive images and illustrations.
  • Different textures.
  • Few pages.
  • Stories that children can relate to.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all.”

– Jacqueline Kennedy –

What are the benefits of promoting reading habits during childhood?

The benefits of promoting reading habits in early childhood are numerous. Below are just a few:

When to Begin Reading Stories to Children

  • Reading boosts a child’s imagination and creativity.
  • Favors children’s cognitive autonomy and the ability to learn how to learn.
  • Maximizes the development and perfection of language.
  • Helps improve oral and written expression.
  • Increases a child’s vocabulary.
  • Improves writing and spelling.
  • Maximizes children’s ability to pay attention and concentrate.
  • Improves children’s memory.

Therefore, parents are responsible for making reading a part of their daily routine. But to really reach the above benefits, it’s not only important to promote reading when your kids are little. Rather, as they grow older, children should observe how their parents read autonomously and enjoy doing so. This is because children look up to and imitate parental figures.

Therefore, if children see their parents enjoy reading, then they’re more likely to develop this same behavior. In the end, it’s not about forcing reading onto our children as an obligation. Rather, it’s about teaching them that reading is a fun and attractive way to enjoy their free time.

““I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”

–Roald Dahl–

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Samaniego, C. (2015). La importancia de la lectura desde una edad temprana. Revista Para el Aula15.
  • Trujillo-García, A. M. (2011). La importancia de la lectura desde la infancia. Revista digital para profesionales de la enseñanza, (16).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.