How to Make the Most of Reading to Your Kids

It’s never too early to read to your kids. If they can use Bandana Baby Bibs then you can read to them. Reading to your kids is an age-old tradition that many remember fondly of their childhood and many look forward to sharing the same experience with their kids. I personally enjoy reading to my nephew and niece and they both have their favorite books so of course, I have to read both. Let’s discuss the best ways you can read to your kids or any little one in your life. Many professionals suggest reading to your child is often as possible. When you do, it becomes part of the daily routine. The more often children are read to, the more substantial the benefits. Reading to children is both an opportunity to model how the written word sounds and a chance for family bonding.

Be 100% Present

When reading to your kids try to give them your undivided attention. Keep phones and devices away and focus on the book and on your kid. I know it might be hard to focus 100% on Dr. Seuss and on the Three Kittens with Mittens but you should try. It’ll make the experience so much better for you and for your kids. They can also sense if you are interested to when you give it your all they associate that time you are spending with them is a great time for you too. This makes them know they are important to you.

Be Engaging

It’s more fun for the kids when you engage with the story and keep interruptions to a minimum. Acct out things from the story if you can and don’t read in a monotone voice. Raise your voice when you need too and change your voice depending on the characters in the story. So, if you are reading about Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, try to use different voices for little red and the wolf and the grandma of course.

Also, engage your kids to respond to a book and ask them questions that would stimulate some critical thinking for the kids.  These techniques and others can enhance learning and comprehension, but they shouldn’t be so intense that they upset the fluidity of the reading experience or turn it into a test. This is beneficial for a range of reading skills, such as reading comprehension, word recognition, and vocabulary building.

Start Early

Start reading to your kids from when they are very little. There is no age limit is they can hear you from the minute they are born. Reading to a child from early infancy helps them develop their language skills faster. When you read to your kids form an early age, it prepares them for their schooling years and aids in them achieving high literacy faster. There is a lot of research available that shows the importance of reading with your children even after then can read on their own

“Very recent research in the UK found struggling adolescent readers can make remarkable gains on their reading comprehension when books are read to them at school. This is perhaps due to the opportunity for students to enjoy books that are too hard for them to read themselves.”

Choose A Book You Both Like

Choose a book that you are both genuinely excited about. Luckily kids books these days are very sophisticated and more diverse and contain important life lessons. Sometimes kids struggle with choosing just one book so help them in the selection process and pick something good. In addition, do not shy away from reading chapter books to your kids even when they are still young. Their attention span might be short so you can read a few pages at a time and supplement with reading kids books meant for their age too.

Pick a chapter book with a story that is not complex and your kids will enjoy going on that journey with you. It’s also a great way to expand their vocabulary and have them learn words that are above their grade in school. Who doesn’t want a genius kid huh?

Enjoy the Experience and Don’t Worry

If you are new to reading to your kid o reading out aloud in general, you might feel self-conscious or nervous about your reading style or if you are doing it right. When you start off you might not be able to use different voices for different characters in the group (like I mentioned above) if that’s the case, don’t worry still. In time you will master it. There are many parents who have persisted even though reading to their kids did not come naturally the first few times. With persistence, they have been able to instill the love of reading in their kids.

Whatever you do just remember that children love storytelling and taken on a magical journey with stories where they can daydream and explore their sense of wonder. Is a kid, I always loved being told stories by my grandmother. It was always so fascinating and so magical! She would tell stories of the tortoise and the hare and the talking Lion who was the king of the jungle and I soaked it all up and let my imagination run free.

The mind of the child is a wonderful thing full of so much potential and promise and is a parent or guardian it is your responsibility to guide them and help them reach their full potential to be all that they can be.