Reading aloud is one of the most important things parents can do with their children. It helps to build many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary, provides a model of fluent, expressive reading, and helps children recognise what reading for pleasure is all about.
When you’re looking at books together, here are some practical tips for great reading sessions:
- Find somewhere quiet and comfortable to read, away from distractions.
- Choose a regular time to read – this could be after snack time in the evening, after dinner or before bedtime.
- Before beginning to read, spend some time looking at the pictures and discuss what the story might be about.
- Read the story to your child out loud, using intonnation, and expressive voices for characters.
- Sharing lots of different kinds, or genres, of books with your child exposes them to different words, different kinds of images, and whole new worlds.
- The best story times are very interactive: You are talking about and reading the story, your child is talking, and there is conversation taking place between the two of you.
- Children learn when they make connections between what they hear and what they know. One method parents can use to help make these connections is called a think aloud, where you talk through your thoughts as you read.