The importance of reading to your child
8 tips for reading aloud
You don’t have to be the smartest reader in the world to enjoy reading aloud with your child (and the world’s smartest reader might need some pointers about reading to kids!). It’s more important to read it than to worry about how you’re going to do it. But there are some simple ways that make the most of your reading aloud time.
- Turn off the TV and radio, and find a quiet place – try to make it your usual reading space.
- Hold your baby on your lap and watch as you read. He will begin to associate reading with feelings of warmth and security.
- Make sure your child can see the pictures. Point to the objects in the pictures, name them, and talk about them.
- Make reading fun. Use a silly voice, make noises, or shake your child while reading. Enter his name in the stories.
- You don’t always need to actually read the page. Use pictures to create your story. Point to objects or ask questions while reading. (“Look at that dog! He’s a big brown dog. What’s he doing?”) Even though your child doesn’t understand, you’re telling him that reading time is active. When he is able to, he will become your active participant in reading – even if it means making a noise or holding a book.
- Expect children to touch, understand and taste the book – that’s what they learn. If it becomes difficult to read, offer to give your child a toy to listen to or chew on.
- Stay on one page for as long as your child is interested. Turn the page when he shows – by trying to crawl his stone, for example – that he no longer cares.
- At first, read a page or two during reading aloud time. As your child gets used to reading, read more pages. Put the book away and do something else when he’s not even interested in turning the page. (But remember, just because her trying to take the book doesn’t mean she’s not interested!)