Besides the obvious reason that reading is a wonderful way for parents to spend quality time with their children, there are many other researched reasons why reading is important to young children.
Although parents help build their children’s vocabularies by speaking to them, the research, including a 2015 study, shows reading to them is more effective. The basis for learning how to read is formed by developing word mastery and grammatical understanding, and reading aloud is the best way to help children build literacy.
Picture books often contain rich language, including more uncommon words, than are found in conversation. Reading picture books exposes children to more words, and is especially important for families with access to less and a more limited vocabulary because of the leveling effect it has.
The earlier children acquire language, the more likely they are to master it. Reading picture books stretches them in vocabulary and grammar at an early age, and indirectly accelerates their learning to read.
Other benefits include:
Builds curiosity and memory
Enlarges and enhances the world in which they live
Creates a positive association with books and reading