Growing Bookworms – Are their benefits to repetitive reading?

“As adults, we know that you might read a complex book and, if you read it again, it allows you to absorb all the different elements over time. It’s true for children too. Not only do children love having the familiarity of their favourite books but the repetition is so valuable.”

DR ELIZABETH WESTRUPP

When my boys were young, they liked to have the same book read to them over and over again. With Greg it was the Farmyard Tales about Poppy and Sam and their dog called Rusty.

Greg was about two and a half years old when he went through this repetitive reading stage. Every afternoon when I got home from work, he would ask me to read Farmyard Tales to him. It was fortunate for me as I was pregnant at the time and busy working on a big transaction; Greg’s love of these books enabled me to rest a lot more than I would have been able to if he’d wanted to play outside.

You can find out more about Poppy and Sam here:

Michael went into this book reading stage later. He was about five years old when he decided he loved The Enchanted Wood series by Enid Blyton. I read this book to him so many times I learned sections of it off by heart. Michael also loved the Famous Five series also by Enid Blyton. Thankfully, I was smart enough to get the audio books of the whole series and so I didn’t have to read these to him repetitively. He liked Five go off in a caravan the best and his listening to this story nearly drove me mad eventually.

Five Go Off in a Caravan - Wikipedia

Back to today’s question: Is repetitive reading good for children?

According to a number of child psychologists repetitive reading does have some important benefits, in particular, children take longer to encode information that older children and adults and they forget faster. Repetitive reading helps young children to remember patterns, new and unusual words, and connect key concepts in the story. In other words, repetition helps develop better comprehension.

Repetitive reading also helps children learn to see things from a different perspective and undergo a different learning experience if you add some new nuances into your reading of the same story. It also helps make reading a story for the 20th time more fun.

Two other benefits of repetitive reading are as follows:

1. Children develop language fluency through repetition. It also helps them to learn sequencing and understanding the two concepts of timing and placing in a story;

2. Repetitive reading also helps develop confidence when a child knows the story and is able to remember what happens next. It also enables the child to re-tell the story to peers or a younger sibling.

Some books that are fun to read over and over again to children are the Dr Seuss books. I always find those books a lot of fun to read, even though I have read them many times, including to my own younger siblings.

I’m going to end off with a great quote from Dr Seuss:

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

About Robbie Cheadle

IMG_9902

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Growing Bookworms” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress.


48 Comments on “Growing Bookworms – Are their benefits to repetitive reading?”

  1. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    My Growing Bookworms post today is about whether there are benefits to repetitive reading with children. Thanks for hosting me Kaye Lynne Booth of Writing to be Read blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. marianbeaman says:

    As your books illustrate, there are benefits to repetitive reading. Thank you for introducing me to Farmyard Tales about Poppy and Sam as well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Norah says:

    This is great Robbie, and very true. Another benefit of repetitive reading to children that benefits them when learning to read, is recognising that the words of a story that are written down remain the same while the words of a story that is told orally may change from telling to telling. Knowing that the words remain consistent helps them unlock the words when they come to reading the story for themselves, from when they first ‘read’ the pictures, retelling the story they’ve heard, through recognising some of the words to all of the words. Oftentimes parents may try to change the words or leave out parts when they’re reading for the umpteenth time, but children will often correct them. What a great indicator of learning!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Norah, thank you for adding your experience here. I remember my boys reading the story due to memorising the words. It was always so exciting and they were so proud. Michael would tell me off if I missed out anything from his favourite stories. Greg soon got tired of waiting for me to finish what I was doing and started reading by himself. When he was six he was already reading 50 pages a day. Funny little chap! PS, I picked up your book today. Hooray! The post office apologised. The one closest to me has closed down and so it was sent to another which cause an additional delay. I didn’t even know the one near me had closed as I rarely use the post office. Thank you so much, it looks amazing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Norah says:

        I’m pleased you were able to add the knowledge from your experiences with your boys to mine. Clever boys. Lucky boys to have a wonderful supportive mum. It makes such a difference.
        I’m so pleased the book arrived at last. It took such a long time. I hope you enjoy the stories. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Robbie,

    What a great topic. The benefits of repetitive reading are many. My favorite book was Little Bear’s Visit and I learned to recognize the words. When my kids were little, theirs was Where the Wild Things Are and they would help by filling in certain parts when I came to them. Not only does it improve reading skills, but I think it also helps build a relationship between parent and child. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kaye, weren’t these just the best times with our kids. I miss reading with my boys. Sometimes during the holidays, Michael still comes and lies next to me and reads while I do. It is lovely when he does. After we finish reading, he tells me all this stories of the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A great post to share! So many parents get tired of reading the same book over and over… BUT, that’s how we grow bookworms! Like you, I have read several books at least twice, often digesting desserts I missed the first time. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I feel that repetitive reading also helps the child develop relationships. They see the book’s characters as friends, beings they like to spend time with. When they are older, perhaps they feel similar feelings and form attachments to other children, animals, etc. due to that internal programing (for lack of a better way to say it). All in all, it’s a good thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Jim Borden says:

    It’s good to know about all those benefits to repetitive reading; my kids were the same as yours; there were some books they just liked to hear over and over. And I agree that the Dr. Seuss books are great for this. By the way, I noticed you have Bookworks in the title, not Bookworms…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Truthfully, I wouldn’t even consider this a question. Repetitive reading–sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jennie says:

    This is fundamental to growing readers. While parents may tire of reading the same book to their child, it is hugely important. I tell the parents in my class, “Good books are meant to be read over and over again.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jennie, I know that you repeat read to the children in your class. They are lucky to have you and benefit from your wisdom and energy. I don’t remember any of my teachers, other than Sister Agatha who was also the provider of many unusual books to me, reading to the class at all. Certainly no-one read to me when I was very small. That is probably why I learned so young; I had to get there somehow.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennie says:

        I had the same experiences as a child, including never going to a library. I somehow found a way to get there, too. When my children were little, I began reading (and repeat reading) in earnest. Fortunately that has carried through to my classroom. Best to you, Robbie.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Carla says:

    Excellent post Robbie. Yes, yes, yes. I love rereading to my grandkids and my granddaughter is a hoot. I might purposely skip a word or change something and she always catches me. So important.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Carla, you are a wonderful grandmother. My own grandmother is one of the only people who read to me and I remember it well. Thank you for sharing your experience here.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carla says:

        Because I was always an avid reader, it came naturally that I read to my children and grandchildren. As an educator it always shocked me when parents said that they did not read to their children. It was something I really pushed with parents of the young ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. petespringerauthor says:

    My own experiences with children tell me that repetitive reading is beneficial. My son is now 28, and I was joking around with my wife the other day about a book we used to read to him all the time. We both still knew all the words even though we hadn’t cracked it open for more than 20 years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • HI Pete, 28 already, wow. My oldest is 18 and finishing school this year. I keep wondering how that happened. I can remember the words of many books I read on my own and books I read to my sons. Michael liked repetitive reading more than Greg and for much longer too. I think he found it comforting. Greg is a bit like me, once something is done, its done.

      Liked by 2 people

      • petespringerauthor says:

        I’m more like Greg and you. I seldom reread a book or watch a movie over. I already know what happens and it’s the suspense of not knowing or trying to predict what will happen that I find the most stimulating.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Speaking of Dr. Suess and repetitive reading, I remember a visit from my brother when his daughter was 18 months old, and she pestered him the whole time to read Hop on Pop. (And reread Hop on Pop.) It was quite comical. (For me, probably not for him.) The repetitive read I remember pestering my dad for was Alfred Noyes’ poem “The Highwayman.” And “Jonathan Bing”!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Toni Pike says:

    Thanks for this great article, Robbie. I know most kids love having their favourites read over and over – you’ve really outlined all the great benefits of this. Toni x

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I fully agree, Robbie! Repetition is the best, for keeping things in mind. The best for children too, and if there are illustrations or reproducible and edible visualizations its in my meaning the best children can get. With the “Sir Chocolate series” you are a role model par excellence! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  15. olganm says:

    You make great arguments for repetitive readings, and I enjoyed reading the thoughts of the commenters as well. I was (and still am) a fan of fairy tales, and there were some collections and some stories in particular, I never grew bored with. When I was older I would read certain parts of my favourite novels and books as well. And I agree with your comment about the Divine Comedy, Robbie. Complex novels or articles become clearer (and/or reveal more of their meaning) the more we read them. A great article.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Olga, I am also a big fan of fairy tales, they are so deliciously awful, aren’t they? I love Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm Brothers [so appropriately named]. I also like nursery rhymes and know many by heart. I am loving this second round of Divine Comedy. I am appreciating it so much more.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Teri Polen says:

    I think repetitive reading when kids are just learning to read is also very beneficial. It certainly helped my youngest when we learned he was behind in his reading skills. I may still have the dinosaur book my oldest loved so much memorized, lol.

    Liked by 2 people


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s