Reading to Children

Reading aloud to children is the most fundamental aspect of nurturing a young, growing reader. Reading aloud is very beneficial for children, especially the really young ones. By listening to stories, a sense of curiosity regarding reading and books is created within them. A child whose home environment includes listening to well-read, animated stories is likely to develop an affinity for creativity, reading and in general for books.

Where to Read?

  • Try and locate natural and interesting reading spots like under a tree or at a nearby park.
  • Inside the home, try and read to the child before bedtime.
  • In the child’s room by spreading a soft cushion on the floor.
  • In the backseat of the parked family car.

When to Read?

  • Start as early as possible. Reading aloud helps to quieten a weeping baby and to entertain a gloomy one.
  • Continue to read aloud even after the child has learnt to read himself. There are always words and parts of the text he won’t be able to comprehend and there the parent’s involvement again becomes very important.
  • Special time should be set aside, every day, to read out for the children. This could be just before naptime or at bedtime.
  • During times of family visits, for example at a family breakfast, at the grandparent’s place.
  • During daily household chores. The child could be asked to read when the parents are cleaning the dishes.
  • The child could be asked to read from the morning newspaper, while the parents are having their breakfast.
  • A child\'s reactions have to be judged. Children getting restless when being read to, mean they are losing interest. Try and evaluate if the settings of the reading place are affecting his interest levels.

What to Read?

  • There is a wide choice available to a parent. Special children books are available. Other sources include magazines and newspapers. Parents could also include on-the-spot reading like that of road signs, menus and catalogues and billboards.
  • There are many rhymes and songs especially meant for children. Children love to hear and swing to rhythmic poems and even jingles.
  • Young children also enjoy picture books accompanied with stories and colourful illustrations.
  • Parents have a wide range of selections and it is necessary to keep introducing new themes and characters to keep the young readers engrossed.
  • Newspapers also offer a lot of stuff that can be used for slightly elder children. These include choosing articles with smaller sentences.
  • Being flexible is necessary. If the child doesn\'t enjoy the book being read, it makes sense for the parent not to be stubborn and try some new reading material.