Parenting Tip of the Week – Reading to your Children

Did you know? Reading with your children is critical to their development. Not only does this help to strengthen your children’s vocabulary and knowledge about the world, it’s also a great bonding experience. By reading together, you can create regular opportunities for you and your child to spend time together.

Suggestions for Reading with your Child

There’s no wrong way to read to your child. As long as you are spending time together with a book, you’re doing well! Here are some tips you can use to make reading time go the extra mile:

  • Use inflection and accents! When reading aloud to your children, using different voices can make reading time more engaging for your child. Try using different voices for different characters, and change your tone depending on what’s happening in the book. When your child is engaged, they are learning!
  • Let your child help! Encourage your child to help you sound out words or describe the pictures they see in the book. The earlier you start reading with your child, the earlier they will begin to understand the fundamentals of language which will better prepare them for school.
  • Talk about the story together! What did your child think of the story you just read? Did they like the characters or pictures? Why? These are some of the questions you can ask your child once you’re done reading. Talking about the stories you read together can help your child better remember what they learned.
  • Make a routine! Children thrive on routine. Establish a set time every evening, such as after bath-time or dinner, when you child can expect to be reading with you.
  • Read early, read often! Remember, it is never too early to begin reading to your child, and no book is ever too short. Whether baby, toddler, or elementary schooler, all children benefit from spending time with books. The earlier you begin reading to your children, the more likely they are to develop a love for books themselves.
  • Mix in educational with fun books! Mix reading time up with your child by choosing books that are both fun and educational. For example, you could pick a book about animals and spend reading time with your child identifying different animals and where they live. No matter the topic, you can certainly find a fun, age-appropriate book that you can use to teach your child about the world.

For some more tips on reading to your child, check out this “Reading Tips for Parents” guide from the U.S. Department of Education.

How do you make reading time with your child fun and educational? Let us know by tweeting us @PCAAmerica or by leaving a comment on our Facebook page!