How 20 minutes of Reading a Day Can Boost Kids' Development

What better way to have an epic adventure than within the pages of a book?
A book is a portal to another world, a place to explore distant worlds, meet quirky characters and even travel back in time.

With all of this at your fingertips, it’s no surprise that reading is a popular pastime for kids and adults alike, but did you know reading also comes with a host of amazing benefits?

Not only can reading prevent cognitive decline, but some research also suggests that reading could even add two years to your life. Wow!

Reading also has amazing benefits for kids. Whether you read to your child or they’re old enough to read themselves, just 20 minutes of reading a day is enough to have positive impact on their educational and personal development.

If you’ve been thinking about reducing you or your child’s amount of screen-time, swapping social media scrolling and YouTube videos for a bit of reading can be a good place to start.

Not sure what books your child might like? We’ve added a list of book recommendations for different age groups at the end of this post to get you inspired.

Benefits of regular reading for kids

Keeps them focussed
The more you practice something, the better you get at it, and the more kids read, the more they’re able to concentrate.
Sitting down with a good book also gives kids practise sitting still and paying attention for longer periods of time, which will help them keep focussed in class without getting fidgety.

Increases vocabulary
It comes as no surprise that reading is one of the best ways for kids to expand their vocabulary, with those who read for 20 minutes a day reading a staggering 1.8 million words a year!
This amazing exposure to new words helps kids communicate more effectively, whether it's through writing, talking or expressing how they feel about a topic in general.

Enhances writing
Following on from vocabulary, the more words a child knows, the better and more varied their writing will be.
Whether it’s a short story, a poem, school project or an essay, having a big library of words to choose from lets kids alter their language to suit any writing style, which is an important skill to have at school, as well as in the workplace.

Strengthens your bond
With a world so full of distractions, reading to your child is a fantastic way to have some quality time together cuddled up with a book.
Whether you read to your child, or your child practices reading to you, having a regular reading routine will go a long way in not only developing written and verbal skills, but your relationship too.

Develops empathy
Reading about a characters struggles and the challenges they’re going through lets kids imagine how they might be thinking and feeling.
By imagining how scared Bilbo must have been when he saw Smaug for the first time, or how excited Harry was when he first laid eyes on Hogwarts gives kids the ability to think more deeply about a character’s situation, helping to develop feelings of empathy.
Empathy is essential in everyday life, helping us establish close connections and have compassion for others.

Builds their imagination
Talk to a child for five minutes and you’ll be amazed at their imagination- it knows no bounds!
Reading is one of the best ways to nurture and encourage their imagination, giving them the space to develop creative thinking skills. This is essential for problem solving and communicating with others, things which are highly valued in the workforce.

Book recommendations
If you want to encourage your child to read more but aren’t sure were to start?  We've compiled a list of great books to get you started!

Ages 6-8 
The Magic Faraway Tree- Enid Blyton
The Borrowers- Mary Norton
The BFG- Roald Dahl
Judy Moody Saves the World- Megan McDonald
How to Train Your Dragon- Cressida Cowell
The 13-Storey Treehouse- Andy Griffiths

Ages 9-11 
The Hobbit- JRR Tolkien
Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian
The Family from One End Street- Eve Garnett
Pax- Sara Pennypacker
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children- Random Riggs
The Boy at the Back of the Class- Onjali Q Raúf

Ages 12+
A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl- Anne Frank
Eliza and her Monsters- Francesca Zappia