Reading books to children is the best way to encourage a love of reading and the sooner you start the better.
Reading to your child is a memorable moment and a time for togetherness and bonding. As with most activities there are ways you can increase your skill and enjoyment of the activity and make it a time that you and your child will look forward to even more.
Bedtime is a common time parents enjoy reading to their child - as a way to wind down for sleep and spend some quality time with their child before the end of the day. But you can read to your child at any time of day - it's important to match reading to your child with your lifestyle and family's needs.
Reading to children is also an essential skill for teachers of younger children. As teachers are important in helping develop a love for books and reading in their young students it has vital importance but may be overlooked in teacher training. For teachers knowing how to read aloud well will not only increase the enjoyment of story time for all - but will also help to convince groups of children that reading is worthwhile and fun.
Essential Tips for Reading to Children
1. Don’t wait until your child becomes a preschooler to start reading books to them. Start reading books to your children whilst they are still babies. It will start them on the path to loving books and reading. Although reading to babies is different than reading books to children.
2. Be expressive when you are reading books to children. Bring the characters to life by using different voices and facial expressions for example.
3. Choose books you both will enjoy.
4. Once your child becomes familiar with a story let them make the sound effects or finish a sentence you have begun.
5. Let your child be involved with reading time. Ask them what they think will happen next or let them act out parts of the story as you read for example.
6. Continue to read books to your child even after they can read alone. Just choose books that are a couple of levels above what the can read themselves…for example if you child can read a beginner book like ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ try reading a chapter book such as one of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary to your child.