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Children's & Youth Services | How To Read Aloud To Your Child

How To Read Aloud To Your Child

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  1. Share books that you like and are comfortable reading. A child can tell if you are having fun telling a story.
  2. Vary the loudness and softness of your voice. Use character voices only if you are comfortable doing so.
  3. Hold your child on your lap or close next to you as you read. Part of the benefit of reading to your child comes from the closeness you share during the reading experience.
  4. Share the book with your child as you read. Let them turn the pages if they are able. Point to the pictures and name objects. Let them ask questions about the story as you read, and then answer those questions. Ask them questions about the book. Doing so, lets them see book reading as a dynamic and interactive experience.
  5. Vary the story. A book does not have to be read word for word! As you become familiar with a particular story, ad-lib or rewrite it a little. Substitute your child's name for the main character's name. Change the ending of the story. In other words, have fun!
  6. Pay attention to your child's body language. If they are wiggly and impatient, wait to share the story with them until another time when they are more relaxed.
  7. Pay attention to your own moods. Don't share a story when you are frustrated or pressed for time.
  8. Create a regular schedule when you will share books together, i.e. before bed. But don't limit your sharing of books to that time only. Rather share books at any and all times.
  9. Have fun! You don't have to be the world's best reader to share an enjoyable reading experience with your child.


“Literacy: A Family Affair” Reading Today, April 2001 v18 i5 p28.

“Tips For Reading To Baby” by Colleen Davis Gardephe American Baby, May 1995 v57 n5 p50.

“This Is How We Read The Book” by Paul Robert Walker American Baby, April 1991 v53 n4 pA8.

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