We often associate Feb. 14 with Valentine's Day, but it's also commemorated as Read to Your Child Day. On this occasion, parents can show their kids some love by spending time reading to them.

Read to Your Child Day celebrates the simple activity that many parents and children share. While the origin of the holiday is unclear, it actually fits in with the two other holidays being celebrated on Feb. 14 apart from Valentine's Day -- Book Giving Day and Library Lovers Day.

Although reading to your child sounds quite simple, it actually has many benefits -- from instilling a life-long love for reading to helping children better understand the world around them.

On this day, let's have a look at some of the benefits of the activity. (Courtesy: Children's Bureau, Raising Children Network and Healthline)

Aids Development

Even something as simple as reading a storybook before bedtime can help aid children's development. For instance, it helps support their cognitive development, vocabulary and discipline. It can also help them improve their language and listening skills and even prepare them for "academic success."

Teaching Life Lessons

Books are said to be excellent ways for children to understand various real-life situations in ways that are appropriate for their age. By having read about them in books, kids can feel like they're not alone when they experience new, possibly uncomfortable or even frightening experiences such as moving to a different place or even something as simple as going to the dentist.


Reading to children also benefits grown-ups as it provides them with a simple yet valuable opportunity to bond with their kids. In fact, Healthline's 2008 study found that reading supports a "solid parent-child relationship" and even helps kids feel more secure.

Learn About Cultures

When children read, they get to learn about and understand different cultures. Whether it's their own or another that they may not have experienced yet in their new world, reading about them can help children expand their knowledge about cultures around the world.

Sparks Creativity

Reading to children helps them to use their imagination and creativity to think of experiences that are beyond their own. According to the Children's Bureau, this could help them to "dream bigger and act creatively," which can help them in school or even beyond. Experts have also noted that creativity is important to fostering emotional health.

To celebrate the Read to Your Child Day, parents who have already started the practice with their kids could take time to read to them today or perhaps take it as a chance to look for a new book that they would enjoy with their kids. They may even choose to donate some of the books they've already read, so that other kids can benefit from the practice, too.

On the other hand, those who haven't started reading to their kids yet can start today. According to Healthline, even babies or older children can benefit from being read to. If they don't have a large option of books, they may visit the library or perhaps borrow some from friends.

"Anytime is a good time for a book or story!" Raising Children Network noted. "Try to share at least one book or story each day."

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