“We’ve read this book for five days in a row. Don’t you want to pick a new one?”
“No! I love this one!”
Raise your hand if this exact conversation has happened in your home. Your child wants to read the same book night after night after night. You’ve read it so much that you both have it memorized. Surely they are ready for a change. They have a whole shelf of wonderful books just…sitting there.
You know that song that you love to listen to over and over? The one that feels familiar and soothing? Your go-to when you’re down and the one you crank up on a drive? I bet you’ve already thought of one, if not a couple.
Your child feels the same way about the books you read them.
You are your child’s favorite song.
Your voice, the way you read it, the silly sound you make at that one part — it’s the thing they spend their whole day looking forward to. It’s the thing that makes them sleep just a little sounder at night. That familiar book…and you.
By now, you’ve surely heard about the importance of reading to your child every day. The benefits are truly impressive! Children who read five books a day with their caregivers enter kindergarten having heard 1.4 million more words than children who are never read to. This huge vocabulary boost gives kids a head start on learning to read and reading comprehension skills.
But what if your child just wants to read the same book over and over?
Amazing things happen, too! Studies show that reading the same book over and over helps children understand the plot and theme of the story much better than if they read it once and move on. You can have an amazing book that teaches an amazing lesson, but if you want your child to learn that lesson, you’re going to need to read the book A LOT.
We also know that kids need to hear a word 80 times before they add it to their vocabulary. This is especially true for babies and toddlers learning the important words they need to communicate. If you want to build their vocabulary faster, read the same books over and over!
These are some great reasons for parents to choose the same book again and again, but why then do kids repeatedly ask for the same book? Because it’s comforting. It feels good. Kids have so little control over their own lives. Every day can feel like a surprise to them, from what they wear to what they eat. Choosing a familiar book that they can read along with brings some confidence and control back into their day.