Spark a Love for Literature with These Read-Aloud Tips
From your child’s first time hearing a story to their teen escape into the pages of an intriguing novel, reading and being read to helps children explore the countless possibilities of both real and imagined words.
The stories you read aloud to your children are often their first exposure to the world of books, and it is the most effective way to cultivate a love of reading at an early age. Reading aloud is important, not only because it shows how much fun reading can be, but also because it introduces children to the sounds and rhythm of language. Reading aloud also helps develop their imagination, creativity, and broadens their perspective of the world. In fact, according to the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research reading aloud to children everyday puts them almost a year ahead of where they would be if they were not read to daily.
Follow these tips to inspire a lifelong love for reading.
1. Read their favorite stories over and over.
Young children will often want you to reread the same book many times, and that is okay! Repetitive reading helps children increase their vocabulary, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension. It also helps them identify familiar patterns and rhythm.
2. Let your children choose books that interest them.
Making their own book selections encourages children to actively participate in the reading process. In fact, 89 percent of kids ages 6 to 17 say that their favorite books are the ones they’ve picked out for themselves.
3. Read aloud at a steady pace.
Read at a pace that allows your children to follow the storyline and analyze the pictures. Talking about the story and the pictures as you read will help to develop their reading comprehension skills.
Here are a few of our favorite books for reading aloud to or together with your children from the Kumon Recommended Reading List.
Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
It’s another noisy morning on the farm, and all of the animals are where they should be—except Goose. And where is Goose? Young children will enjoy clucking, mucking, mewing, and cooing while they search for Goose on every gorgeously illustrated page.
How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
Brimming with humor and familiar good-night antics, here is a playful peek into the homes of dinosaur children and their parents at bedtime. Perfect for sharing and reading aloud, this is one nighttime book your own little dinosaur will want to read again and again.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
A told B, and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. In this lively rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no—Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
The busy Boston streets are too dangerous for eight little ducklings! But with a little help from a friendly policeman, Mrs. Mallard and her family arrive safely at their new home. This Caldecott-winning classic continues to delight generations of children.
A Giraffe and a Half By Shel Silverstein
Featuring rhythmic verse and iconic illustrations, A Giraffe and a Half will leave every reader— young and old—laughing until the very end. Beloved for over 50 years, this classic captures Silverstein’s signature humor and style.