Ask an expert:

Why you should read to children

Alumni News recently caught up with experts in psychology, education, reading and childhood development to discuss why it can be beneficial to spend time reading to children.

It builds closer bonds

Bonding parent and child

“Reading to children everyday is one of the most important forms of human interaction that parents can have with their children. It not only builds close relationships between parents and children, it promotes and stimulates cognitive development and children’s love of books."

Professor Matt Sanders
Professor of Clinical Psychology
Founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

It broadens vocabulary and nurtures a passion for reading

Reading to babies in utero

"Read to children from in utero as a means for children to learn language and your voice.  

"Reading to children models to children that letters and punctuation are a code for words and nuances of expression. Written text is often more sophisticated than spoken text so reading to children introduces children to more complex vocabulary, syntax and genres. 

"Reading to children nurtures a joy in reading and ignites a passion and habit for reading. 

"You can find more suggestions on how to support literacy through varying encounters with texts here."

Dr Louise Phillips 
Academic, School of Education
Professional Storyteller, Lou.P.Tales

It strengthens their imagination and independent reading ability

Kids imagination reading

"Reading aloud quality story books to children provides meaningful opportunities for them to imaginatively immerse themselves in fictional settings, in characters’ lives and in the emotion of the narrative. 

"Reading aloud enables access to rich and challenging texts as well as providing a wonderful model for independent reading."

Mel Green
PhD Candidate
School of Education


It helps children become better writers and students later in life

Reading to kids

"Reading is also one of life's great joys and it contributes to our ability to learn and communicate as we get older.

"You have to be able to read well in order to be able to write well and critically analyse information.

"The earlier reading begins the better as students in our modern society need to be able to read to carry out most study and life functions. Students who read well and broadly can structure their work in a more appropriate manner and generally dissect and understand information at a higher-level."

Dr Judith Seaboyer 
Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies
School of Communication and Arts

Buy Second-hand children's books and support a good cause

For those wanting to pick up cheap, sustainable children's books with all profits going towards a good cause, the UQ Alumni Book Fair and Rare Book Auction will be held May 3-6 2019 at the UQ Centre Exhibition Hall in St Lucia. 

More than 200,000 books, DVDs, LPs, magazines and videos will be for sale at these volunteer-run initiatives held through Alumni Friends of UQ with all proceeds going towards student scholarships and other deserving initiatives.