How to Read to Kids

Reading Aloud Tips for Parents

In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework after dinner, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, and read to their child.”

President Barack Obama
Address to Joint Session of Congress
February 24, 2009

Make reading a part of every day

  • Read at bedtime, or at a specific time.

Have Fun

  • Children who love books learn to read.
  • Books can be part of special time with your child.

A Few Minutes is OK

  • Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story, but as they grow, they will sit longer.

Talk about the Pictures

  • You do not have to read the book to tell a story.

Let your child Turn the Pages

  • Babies need board books and help to turn pages, but your three year-old can do it alone.

Show your child the Cover Page

  • Explain what the story is about.

Show your child the Words

  • Run your finger along the words as you read them.

Make the Story Come Alive

  • Create voices for the story characters and use your body to tell the story.

Ask Questions about the Story

  • “What do you think will happen next?  What is this?”

Let your child Ask Questions about the Story

  • Use the story as an opportunity to engage in conversation and to talk about familiar activities and objects.

Let your Child Tell the Story

  • Children as young as three years old can memorize a story and many children love an opportunity to express their creativity!

More tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help your child learn to read