Siblings reading together is not only a sweet moment for a parent to observe, but it benefits everyone involved. We already know that when children read, they are reaping so many benefits from improved language skills to literacy skills. When siblings read to one another or share story time together, there are some extra special, added benefits!
1. Improved Confidence
Older siblings can feel an increased sense of confidence when they can help out with something like reading to a younger sibling. Feeling like a more confident reader can encourage children to read more often and volunteer for reading aloud in the classroom!
2. Increased Sibling Bond
Sharing imagination and stories together is a bonding experience. When siblings read together, their emotional connection strengthens as they get lost in a book. Try suggesting books that have topics on shared interests. Or, allowing one sibling to pick a book he or she is particularly interested can give the other sibling a chance to explore those interests more. They'll be exposed to a wider range of vocabulary and concepts this way!
3. Social Skill Development
When you encourage siblings to take turns choosing the book, turning the pages, or asking and answering questions with one another, their social skills are developing. Reading together gives siblings an opportunity to practice social skills like joint attention (referencing back and forth between the book and their sibling) and awareness of speaker/listener roles (being quiet and listening when their sibling is reading, and knowing when it is appropriate to make a comment on the book).
Keep books where kids can easily access them and you might just catch your little ones reading together! Encourage this by designating a certain night each week that an older sibling gets to read the bedtime books instead of you (which might even give you a little extra time of your own!).
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family