Tips for Reading to Kids

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Reading aloud to children is a proven technique to help them cope with stress, anxiety, and difficult situations.

Read or share stories at bedtime, while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or while riding the bus. Anytime can be a good time to read aloud.  Choose a favorite place to read together every day - on a child's bed, in your living room, or even on the bus. 

 Pigeon Read WEb

Read Every Day
Make reading aloud to your child part of your daily routine.  Sharing stories not only builds children's language skills but also strengthens the parent-child bond.

A Few Minutes is OK
Don't Worry if You Don't Finish the Story
Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story, but as they grow, they will be able to sit longer.

Babies Need Words Too!
Talk to your baby all day long. Describing the weather or what you're cooking for dinner will help your child learn words, ideas, and how language works.

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Show Children the Words & Repeat the Words
Run your finger along the words as you read them, from left to right. Repeat certain vocabulary words.

Multiple exposures to words improves word learning, not just because the kids memorize the word, but because they understand it better and can retain it for longer.

Let Children Turn the Pages
Babies need board books and help turning pages, but a three-year-old can do it alone. Remember, it's OK to skip pages!

 Bear Reading Web

Ask Questions about the Story & Let Children Ask Questions Too!
Make it interactive: Reading books in an interactive way—by pointing out illustrations, asking questions, and providing word definitions—”significantly influences the number of new words children learn from shared storybook reading.” 

Ask your child to describe pictures, repeat phrases used in the story, and predict what will happen next. Predicting what might happen next in the story allows children to think creatively and helps them to retain information.

Let Children Tell the Story
Children as young as three years old can memorize a story and many children love to be creative through storytelling.

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Keep Favorite Stories in Rotation 
Reading the same stories over and over again increases kids’ ability to both 
remember and retain words.

Make It Personal
Talk about your own family, pets, or community when you are reading about others in a story. Use the story to engage in conversation and to talk about familiar activities and objects. 

Select books that relate to what is happening in your child's world - starting preschool, going to the dentist, becoming a big brother, or moving to a new place.

Have Fun!
Children will learn from you that books are fun, which is an important ingredient in learning to read. 

Act out the story! Create voices for the story characters and have fun. Talk or sing about the pictures and feel free to be silly.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing or if you stumble over the words, your children will love hearing your voice and all the stories.

Dragon Reading