Celebrate Reading Aloud and Sharing Stories

World Read Aloud Day 2016 logo.
Read Aloud. Change the World.

When you give the gift of reading aloud to your child, you not only open a book but open up a world of opportunity by creating a bonding experience, fostering brain development, and establishing good habits. On World  Read Aloud Day, Raising Readers celebrates reading aloud and its many benefits.

When you read to your child (no matter her age) she is experiencing the story through seeing the pictures and words, hearing your voice as you read, and feeling and touching the pages. This multisensory experience, coupled with a comfortable setting, makes reading aloud one of the best ways to help your child’s brain develop, and to help your child form a relationship with reading and books that will last a lifetime.

Here are some read-aloud tips in celebration of World Read Aloud Day:

  • Read aloud to your baby: Even though it seems like your baby isn’t getting anything out of the experience, he is! Your baby is learning at a remarkable rate, starting from day one.
    • Gaze into your infant’s eyes while reading.
    • Make reading time quiet and cozy.
    • Point to and name pictures in stories.
    • Let your baby discover board books by holding, dropping, and patting the book. Even chewing is a way your baby learns about and explores the world around him.
  • Read aloud to your toddler: Toddlers take their first steps and they’re off! Even if there’s too much toddling and not enough lap time, it’s okay-they’re still listening.
    • Let your toddler move around as you read, whether scooting, crawling, walking, or running.
    • Keep books in reach.
    • Ask “Where’s the …?” Let your child point to the picture in response.
    • Share books at naptime and bedtime.
    • Create voices for characters in the story.
    • Take your son or daughter to the library for story time.
  • Read aloud to your young child: Children who are familiar with books are much more likely to become successful readers and students when they get to school. Also, children who enjoy reading and see it modeled on a regular basis are more likely to pick up a book and read it for pleasure when they’re older.
    • Ask “What do you think will happen next?”
    • Ask simple questions about the story.
    • Encourage your child to tell their own stories.
    • Move your finger under the words of the story as you’re reading them.
    • Let your child “read” familiar books aloud to you!

Instilling a love of books and reading within your child starts with reading aloud, and it’s a love that will last a lifetime.

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