How Reading Fiction Can Aid Learning & Development in Children

March 9, 2022

The simple act of reading has long been proven to be a major contributor to children’s learning and development. In fact, reading for pleasure has been shown to have a greater impact on children’s cognitive development than their parents’ education levels, and a more significant factor influencing life achievement than socio-economic backgrounds. Children who read frequently also often attain better results in maths, vocabulary, and spelling tests.

Reading fiction, specifically, has a whole plethora of benefits with regards to cognitive, social, and emotional development in children:

Cognitive Development

There are many ways reading fiction aids children’s cognitive development. First, through exposure to different narratives, children who read fiction will experience improvements in language fluency, comprehension skills and capabilities in creative writing.

They will also implicitly learn less-common words and phrases through the varying contexts provided to them in the form of engaging stories meant — words they may have otherwise never encountered through ordinary day-to-day conversations.

Reading fiction helps children build wider content knowledge as well, through immersing them in different settings, time periods, and the lives and thoughts of numerous characters they can learn from. In this regard, children literature plays a role in not just providing foundational knowledge but also the forming of a resource pool that instigates further research and exploration.

For example, if your child reads A Place for Pluto by Stef Wade and Melanie Demmer via a reading programme for kids, they inherently discover the displacement of Pluto from the Earth’s solar system. This then gives them a proverbial launching pad to explore the topic of solar systems and other astronomical subjects, to add personal meaning and enrichment to what they have previously experienced through the story.

Social Development

Having your child read fiction also exposes them to other reading and learning benefits that can aid their social development. For example, reading fiction has been proven to improve social acuity and improve one’s ability to comprehend the motivation of others.

This is because characters, plots and settings in fictional books can help children work through nuanced, sensitive issues in an open and honest manner, while also developing a capacity for empathy.

There are many subjects where an initial lack of understanding can come off as offensive or troubling, and conversations surrounding these topics are often avoided for this very reason. Learning to love reading fiction can give your child safe access to building their own thoughts on such matters. The direct immersion into the minds of numerous characters will also develop a child’s ability to empathise with others.

Emotional Development

Lastly, reading fiction supports emotional development in children. Research has shown that reading reduces stress extremely effectively, more so than things like listening to music or even having a cup of calming tea.

Practising bedtime reading can also help children get better sleep. Restlessness and inability to deal with unease can keep children awake in bed and deny them of needed rest. Fiction reading as a bedtime routine helps children relax and wind down after a long day at school, and offers them healthy disengagement from the problems that can come with adolescence.

Children Learning Reading with MindChamps

Though extremely beneficial, helping your child learn to love reading may be a little tricky, especially with so many different forms of distraction available today. We at MindChamps understand this, and have thus curated our own programme to help parents who struggle to get their child to read.

MindChamps Reading is a reading programme for kids that sparks a deep love for reading in children. Empower your child by letting them discover the delights of reading and how to become an avid and confident learner.

Find a MindChamps Centre near you today.