Reading to your kids just a few minutes a day can truly have a magical effect – on both you and your child! It can prepare kids for school by improving their language skills and their love for reading.

With these small tips, you can make reading fun and educational!

  1. Start early: The earlier, the better. Don’t feel silly or discouraged reading to a baby. It may seem like they don’t understand what you say, but they are learning a lot!
  2. Follow your child’s lead: Find books that match your child’s interests. Whether it is dinosaurs, spiders, sharks, or dogs, kids pay more attention when they care about the topic. 
  3. Ask questions: Kids learn best when they are asked to talk. Questions can be simple like, “Where is the bear?” or more challenging like “Why do you think he did that?”
  4. Make connections: Relate the story to past experiences. Like “Remember when we baked a cake?” or “Have we seen an animal like that in the park?”
  5. Follow your child’s points to pictures!: Pointing means that your child wants to talk about what they noticed! Do that and they will learn even more!  
  6. Talk about new words: Books expose kids to words that they may never hear, like kingdom and knight. Reading is a great way to learn new words – especially if you talk about what they mean!
  7. Be silly!: Make reading a blast by using funny voices for characters and your children will love it when you read. 
  8. Encourage your child to pick the book and turn the pages!:  Kids love making choices and being active.  
  9. Create good memories: Reading gives you the chance to bond with your children and share memories that you can both cherish. Make reading a special time for both of you to relax and de-stress. Get chill with a book!

Thanks to Dr. Daniela Avelar and Dr. Roberta Golinkoff at the University of Delaware for these tips!