Reading with Dad is So Much Fun!

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, Raising Readers celebrates all of the dads and significant male figures, such as step-dads, uncles, and grandads, who play an integral part in their little one’s literacy development.

Reading is an essential activity that is linked to children’s cognitive development, academic success, and employment later in life.  Children are interested in reading and will mimic child-adult reading routines.  We know mothers have a big role to play; however, research shows that reading with dad and father-figures is particularly influential in children’s language and literacy development. A father’s positive involvement with their children is not just good for the children, but it benefits the fathers, too.

Here are some interesting facts about children who routinely enjoy reading with dad:

  • Children feel nurtured, supported, engaged and will have more advanced vocabularies and communication skills. They will likely be more prepared to begin school and perform well throughout their school years.
  • Dads take stories to another level when they act out actions in the book and make exciting comparisons to things they have experienced together.
  • Bedtime stories are relaxing for both the child and father. Research shows that muscle tension and heart rate decreases within six minutes of turning the pages.
  • Increased confidence, self-esteem, better father-child relationship, and increased engagement with learning are all results of reading with dad.

Research reveals that routinely reading to children starting at birth is beneficial.   Ninety percent of Millennial and Generation X Dads say that parenting is their greatest joy!  As a result, it’s estimated that these generations spend forty percent more time with their children than previous generations.

If you’re a dad (or anyone who has a special child in your life), here are some fun ways you can support a child’s literacy:

  • Read every day in a relaxing and quiet location.
  • Tell stories about your youth and activities you enjoy doing.
  • Sing nursery rhymes or jingles.
  • Talk about your child’s day. This improves conversation and creates narratives which are linked to better reading skills.
  • Check out books with photography and talk about the pictures.
  • Create games that use letters, words, or problem-solving.
  • Read the same book multiple times. Your child will take pride in learning the story and tell you what is happening on each page.
  • Let your child pick out the story that interests them.
  • Read to your children even if you do not share a residence with them. You can read over the phone, through FaceTime, or even record stories for when you are away. You could even create your own podcast!
  • Visit the library and participate in the many activities that are available in your community.

There are so many resources available to provide some great reads for dads and their children, like this list of 8 Books About Daddy Your Toddler Will LoveThese board books are all about spending loving and fun time with dad.

Raising Readers’ website provides a complete list of the books distributed; this is a great selection of books for your infant/toddler/preschool children.

We salute all of the dads and father-figures who read aloud to children.  Happy Father’s Day! We hope you can rest, relax and enjoy your family on your special day.

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