It is universally accepted that reading aloud to children (from newborn or even pre-born to older children) has great effect on the child’s cognitive and language development and can nurture your relationship with your child. When to start? As early as possible. Book stores and libraries have a wide range of age appropriate books for your child. These books are not just about the words; they also contain colourful, imaginative illustrations to invite your child into a world of wonder and mystery.
Specific skills reading aloud promotes include:
- Word sound and recognition
- Vocabulary development
- Understanding how stories work
- How to respect books and handle them
- Develops memory and anticipation and curiosity
Further benefits include:
- Providing time for a parent to positively interact with their child and have fun using different voices as the story unfolds
- Expanding their experience by opening them to places and times beyond their experience.
- Beginning a lifelong leisure activity of reading
- Helping a child when stressed or anxious.
- Allow your child to choose some books for you to read (you may need to limit the number depending on your time) but also have some you have found about things they are interested in.
- While you may have a set time for reading aloud to your child (like before bed), occasionally make time to sit together and read
- Get comfortable
- As your child becomes familiar with a story, stop before a word and let them add the word. Or ask questions – (before you turn a page: What do you think is going to happen?)
- Draw your child’s attention to the illustrations before you read to see if they get an idea of what the book is about. Speak about title, author, illustrator.
Some websites with suggestions for age-appropriate books and how to read aloud:
Mem Fox’s blog page for parents: http://memfox.com/category/for-parents/
At Angel’s Paradise reading aloud is foundational to our educational program.