10 Tips for Reading Aloud to Your Child

10 Tips for Reading Aloud to Your Child

10 Tips for Reading Aloud to Your Child

Reading aloud to your child is all about building an early vocabulary and nurturing a lifelong joy of reading.  It’s also a fabulous way to bond with your child - or grandchild, or the little ones in your life.  Here are a few tips to help make this experience special: 

  1. Make reading aloud a part of your daily routine.  Make it a part of the day to which everyone looks forward.  As the author Kate DiCamillo says: ​​”Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty.  It should be offered as a gift.” 
  2.  Snuggle up.  To help underscore the yummy routine, find a cozy spot that is your go-to reading nook. 
  3. Read the book(s) to yourself ahead of timeRhythm and meter are part of the magic of storytelling and one of the keys to grabbing the attention of your little ones.  So, a little pre-reading can make a big difference.
  4. Read with passion, but read slowly.  Read in a lively, enthusiastic tone.  Read a bit slower than you normally speak.  Pause dramatically at especially interesting or funny moments.  And, keep in mind it takes time for little ones to process the pictures on the page; so, give them that time.
  5. Pause and pose questions to your child while you read.  I’m always amazed by how differently a child is experiencing a book than I am or what they have found in the pictures that I have missed. 
  6. Interruptions are OK!   Remember – questions and the sharing of ideas by your child while you are reading show they are engaged.   Warmly welcome their interruptions.  
  7. No need to finish a book.  Sometimes a book just doesn’t grab the attention of a child, and that’s ok!  It might take a few tries to land on the title that captivates your little reader.
  8. Don’t worry about the age or grade level of the book relative to your child.  If your reader is fascinated by the subject matter, but the book is for a bit older child, still dive in and give it a try! 
  9. Remember you have creative license to edit what you’re reading.  If you think a child won’t yet understand a word, make it simpler.  If the text is dragging on a bit too long for a squirrely little one, summarize it and move on. 
  10. Keep book(s) with you everywhere you go.  Books can soothe or distract little ones during those times that you find yourself unexpectedly with a bit of extra time or when you’re forced to wait for someone or something.

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