Ten tips for reading out loud to young children

Reading out loud develops a love for books, reading and learning. What you read can range from very easy picture books to books with a lot of print. It is amazing how much children can enjoy and understand what they hear long before they begin learning to read.

Our top ten tips for parents are:

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1. Teach your child how to hold and care for books. This helps to promote the idea that books are special.

2. Capture your child’s interest by discussing titles and pictures before reading. Point out that both pictures and words can tell the story or provide information.

3. Let your child retell or pretend read using the pictures. When children do this they feel like a real reader and want to learn to read for real.

4. Talk about where to start reading. Use your finger to track the words to develop the

idea of matching the spoken word to the printed word. Many children will start memorizing common words this way.

5. Read different types of books such as story, information and poetry books. There are a number of excellent magazines for children.

6. Family reading time after dinner is a great way to encourage reading for leisure.

Children love to feel they are doing something that parents do.

7. Be playful, enthusiastic and expressive as you read. Choose a time to read when you have the time and energy for it.

8. Read books you and your child are interested in. The children’s librarian at your local library is an expert at helping with choices.

9. Be willing to read favourite stories over and over again. Children love the repetition and they learn something new every time.

10. Share ideas, feelings and thoughts while you read to help your child make connections between their own life and what you are reading. 

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