Reading aloud gives you a chance to explore new stories and spend quality time with your family. And the benefits for your kids don’t stop there — the National Education Association (NEA) points to studies showing that children who read at home are more likely to develop strong counting, reading, and writing skills at an earlier age.
Tips for Reading to Your Children
Whether you’re rereading a classic or discovering a new favorite, a good book is all you need to ignite your children’s imaginations. ED and NEA have tips to help you get started, including:
- Make It a Tradition — Turn story time into something you and your children look forward to. Pick a place and time to read together, like at the table after dinner or in a pillow fort before bed.
- Find a Favorite Book — Children often love to hear their favorite stories over and over, and repetition also helps them get used to certain words and the way stories work. Massachusetts Libraries provides a list of some favorite story time books to help you find the perfect one.
- Limit Distractions — Make reading time about you and your children. Set aside electronics and turn off the TV or any background music.
- Let Your Children Help — Let younger children hold the book, turn the pages, and point to words and pictures. Take turns reading with older children or let them read their favorite parts.
- Take Books with You — Keep books and writing materials on hand when you leave the house. That way, you’ll never miss a chance for a quick story time. For instance, doctor’s appointments and public transit rides can be great reading opportunities.
Check out NEA’s tips for inspiring students to read and ED’s reading tips for parents for more information and ideas. You can also visit EEC’s Resources for Early Learning website to find reading guides for infants and toddlers.
EEC provides additional resources to help you encourage your child’s learning, including:
- Brain Building in Progress — Help your children explore and understand the world around them with Brain Building in Progress. Find hands-on brain building zones near you like parks, libraries, and museums, or attend local community activities and events.
- Learn and Grow Together — The Learn and Grow Together parent guide outlines how your children develop from birth to their teenage years. Find fun family activities for kids of all ages to turn shopping trips, family meals, and other everyday moments into learning opportunities.
Reading together and looking for learning opportunities in everyday activities are great ways to help your kids get a head start. Get inspired by these tips and have brain-building fun with your family!
Do you have a favorite learning activity that you do with your kids? Tell us in the comments below or tweet @MassGov.
Tags: books, children, children's books, early childhood education, early education, education, families, kids, libraries, library, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, read across america, reading, reading together
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