Reading aloud with your children is a great way to share quality family time whilst building their literacy and love of reading. Here are some quick tips on how to make this a fun activity for everyone.
Time and Place
Reading can be done anywhere, anytime, with any book, but here are a few ideas to make it easier to organise.
- Make a commitment to read aloud with your child four or more times a week
- Try setting aside a regular time for reading together, that is separate to school work
- Turn off the television and computer, and put your phone on silent – try and achieve 10 minutes of uninterrupted golden time
- Cuddle together as you share stories
- Ten minutes reading a story at bedtime is a great habit that will also help your child to sleep well
- Get the rest of the family involved – maybe every Sunday morning a grandma or auntie could read a story in a different language, whilst you read English stories at bed time each night
- Make sure your child gets to choose which book to borrow from the library or buy sometimes
- Children love the reassurance of repetition, so if they keep asking for the same story read it again
- If you want your child to be able to speak a language as an adult, read stories to them in that langage as a child – getting your undivided attention in this way will mean they see that language as important
How should I read?
All your child wants is to hear your voice – the thing making their storytime special is that it’s you doing the reading! If you want a few ideas to make your storytelling even more engaging, try some of these;
- Ask questions about the pictures as you go along – which is your favourite elephant? How many birds can you see? How do you think the monkey feels?
- Doing “voices” can be difficult, instead try making your voice loud and soft, fast and slow at different parts of the story
- You don’t have to read exactly what’s on the page! Just read enough to make sense of the story if your child is too tired, or go into more detail if you can see they are really engaged in the book
For more information
Reading is Fundamental have some great online leaflets with more ideas for reading aloud with your children.
- Choosing Good Books for Children of All Ages
- How to get Early Years Children Excited about Reading
- Reading Aloud to your Children
If you’re looking for some suggestions about books to try or you have any other questions, please contact library staff at firstname.lastname@example.org .