5 essential skills that reading story books can teach your toddler

5 essential skills that reading story books can teach your kids

Reading is an effortless way to sharpen your language skills. But for toddlers and kids, learning to say their first 100 words, this activity has a whole new meaning.

Storybooks with pictures and illustrations make reading, an extremely interesting, fascinating and fun activity for children. The cherry on the cake, however, is that reading storybooks to your kids, help them to inadvertently develop skills, that go a really long way:

Reading storybooks to toddlers helps build their vocabulary and speaking skills 

As you say aloud new words, phrases, idioms, expressions, etc. casually, while reading from a storybook, it enriches the kids’ vocabulary and helps them in picking up all these new words.

Introducing books with rhyming words further helps them learn different words with a similar sound like – run, fun and sun. Kids love listening to rhymes and rhyming storybooks as they sound more fun. The child gradually learns to start speaking some of these words which further helps improve his/her speaking skills and word power.

You may be totally surprised when you hear your kids, use words like ‘comfortable, beautiful, wonderful’, for the first time. So be ready for a double-take and enjoy the reading and learning journey, with your kids.

Colourful illustrated images in storybooks add the required fuel to tiny tots’ imagination

Reading helps in developing imagination in kids

Ever since I have started reading, ‘The Little Engine That Could’ to my toddler, he has been excited to make trains out of random objects like his block toys, remote sets, or just anything in reach. Not just that, he likes to go a step further, by giving his animal toys, a ride on his train. There is a spark of joy when we play train-train and make the koo-chuc-chuc sound with our ingenious toy trains.

Reading storybooks hones the imagination of kids. Trains of various sizes and shapes

Storybooks with illustrations open kids’ minds to discover a new meaning in everyday objects. They invent an ingenious way to create new things by using objects of illustrated shapes, sizes or colours. It helps them weave their own stories and bring to life a brand-new narrative.

Reading helps to improve Visualisation

Well, if you may wonder, how visualisation is different from imagination, let me share an example. Can you wonder, that a standing airplane could be a rocket, at all? Well, this is what a child said, after seeing the picture of a rocket, in his book. Since it was difficult for me to correlate, so, I explained that an airplane is different from a rocket. But the child remained adamant.

2 days later, while playing with the toys, he rooted me to the spot.

A standing airplane or a rocket, what would you call it?

Reading storybooks helps to improve Visualisation
Standing Aeroplane or a Rocket ??

This instance inspired me to make a conscious effort to help the tiny tots visualise things while introducing non-illustrative books.

So, try these tricks, and play a new read-see-feel game with the kids

  • While I read this story, I can really feel the cool wind blowing so fast, that it messes up my hair.
  • So next, you close your eyes and tell me what picture you see, when I read the next story.

Isn’t it spectacular that the mere understanding of what’s happening in those words aids visualisation? Wonder where it might be useful – Data Interpretation, data reasoning or even visual storytelling.

Storybooks fan the Curiosity of kids and aid Inquisitive Interaction

 Soon after the kids learn to speak, they get excited and happy that they know, what’s in the book.

Storybooks fan the Curiosity of kids and aid Inquisitive Interaction

  • ‘Ye cat hai’ or ‘this is cat’
  • ‘Cat ghumi kar ri hai’ or ‘Cat is strolling around’

That is also the stage when they are super curious and begin to start asking questions.

‘Mumma, ye kya hai’ or ‘Mumma, what is this?’

Appreciate the child for the wonderful question. Take the opportunity to talk about the object, explain its utility and show the real specimen, if you can. For Example:

‘This is a curtain. A white curtain in the picture. It is drawn to the side. Isn’t it? See we have one in our room too. It is pink in colour with white flowers on it.’

Go on and be as descriptive, as you can. This small interaction creates awareness, aids learning and cherishes the curiosity of the child. Who knows, you may be reading to a curious future scientist or a budding detective.

Reading storybooks to kids, on a daily basis, helps in Memory building. Repetition is the key.

Reading storybooks regularly helps in Memory building, in kids

I wasn’t expecting this, so I did not keep a count. But I have been reading this book by Dr. Seuss, for quite some time now. Now, when I read it to him, my son completes a few sentences for me –

-‘………….I can’t say’

-‘…………..a long long way’

Reading regularly aids memory development in kids. Is this not how we used to mug answers for a viva or test?

Related: 15 types of books to introduce reading to young kids and infants


Storybooks are the best tools to develop your child’s interest in reading, which is possibly the most important habit for any child to develop.

So read, read and read aloud to your kids, as much as you can. Who knows spending quality reading time with your child might just be a stepping stone to preparing a future public speaker or a best-selling author?

//This article has also been published by Momspresso and is available at the following link

9 thoughts on “5 essential skills that reading story books can teach your kids”

  1. This writeup makes me more and more appreciative and pietyed to our grandparents who always made it a point to tell us a story( narating might have been the only resource at that time)before bedtime.. that is how we still remember epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat. Very nicely depicted Annu, you put in so much of hardwork and soul to every article of yours.. keep going girl

    1. Thank you, Anjali for the love and the spur 🙂 True, indeed, I still hold my childhood storytime so close to my heart and it makes me much more reverent to my grandparents. I think those are the special memories that we are going to treasure, all through our lives. But for those of us, living in nuclear families, the onus now lies primarily on the parents, to bring alive the wonderful world of stories, for our little ones and add some magic, charm, and wonder to storytime, in our own sweet ways. Hope you find this list of books helpful, to make storytime more fun. Happy reading:)

  2. YES THANK YOU!!! I’m a preschool teacher and this is SO important. More families need to hear this honestly cause all kiddos are capable of so much and something as simple as reading to them can change everything!!

    1. True Leah.. Glad you liked it.
      For options and suggestions on the types of books to introduce reading to kids (including newborns, infants, and toddlers), please check this article. I am sure you’ll like it.

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