We will go on and on about this, but reading is fundamental. We have read to our children from Day 1. We have not stopped. At a minimum, we read 2-3 books to each of our boys every night before bed. They love it. Every single minute. Is it easy to fit into a working parent's schedule every single day? Of course not! But it means the world to our boys so we figure it out.
There is a tremendous amount of value from the time we spend reading. The first, and most obvious, is that they learn to read and want to learn new things from the beginning. Our boys love reading! They go to bookstores and libraries and pick up books for us to read to them and buy.
The second benefit is that they gain a thirst for knowledge. They want to read. They want to learn. They ask questions. They think about all kinds of things that we as parents would never think to ask. And the more we read to them, the more the questions become detailed and are well thought out - not just "why?"
Another benefit is simply spending quality time together. We have preached time and again about family time and being present. What better way to spend time with your children then reading to them and then tucking them into bed? They enjoy the routine and enjoy the time with mommy and daddy.
There are undoubtedly many more benefits, but these are the ones that jump out at us. Our routine has been the same since Day 1 - bath, books, bed. It is some of the best quality time a parent could ask for and some of the best that a child could be given. We love reading to our children and will continue to do it for as long as we can. The impact is clear. They love to read. They want to learn.
We recommend that you do it for your children. But you should also do it for yourselves. It is worth every minute.