5 ways reading together can support children’s wellbeing

Published on: 12 September 2019

Spending time sharing books and stories can help parents and carers manage and support their child's wellbeing, even at a very young age.

Our Time to Read campaign is all about encouraging families keep reading together even once their children begin to read independently – and making sure they get all the benefits reading for pleasure offers.

Read on to find out how shared reading can promote good mental health and wellbeing.

Find out more about our Time to Read campaign

Time to Read Family smiling

One-on-one time

Setting aside regular time for just you, your child and a good book will demonstrate to them that you want to spend quality time together.

Side-by-side activities like reading are great opportunities to improve parent-child communication and to get them to open up about things on their mind.

Discussing the words, themes and images you see in the book can easily prompt children to share their thoughts on these and other matters.

Introducing new topics

If there’s something that’s concerning your little one, a book related to that topic is a great tool to introduce the issue and start a conversation around it. The book can provide structure to your discussion and children will be able to relate to the characters they see in the story. This can help them make sense of their emotions and feel less alone.

Here's a list of picture books that will help you explore some common topics

Escape for your child

There’s nothing like being whisked away by a good story. Reading can help children escape into new worlds and can be particularly helpful as a way to switch off from the day and cope with stress and worry.
Having fun

Reading together can be an incredibly fun activity and can help to improve you and your child’s mood.

Choosing a laugh-out-loud book and having a go at all the silly voices and actions is a great way to let loose together. By making story-time fun, you’ll help your child see it as an enjoyable activity that makes them feel really positive.

Developing empathy

Stories introduce a huge range of emotions and experiences to readers. Reading stories together can help your child to see the world through other people’s eyes. Not only will this help them to better understand their own experiences, it plays a huge role in developing their empathy and allowing them to connect and care for the people around them.

Time to Read for families

There are so many brilliant reasons why we want you to read with your child. Get involved at home this year and have a lot of fun!

Find out more about Time to Read