Best Read Aloud Books For Kids
The more often your child hears fluent reading, the better prepared she will be for learning to read. According to the National Commission of Reading , reading aloud to children is the most important activity for knowledge building and success at reading.Continue to read aloud to your child even when they can read to themselves. It will give you quality time together and strengthen your bond. It will also give you the opportunity to revisit some of your favorite stories and share them with your child.
The Many Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Child
- Reading aloud from a wide variety of books on different topics (even at the earliest levels) can improve a child’s vocabulary and comprehension skill.
- Expands their knowledge of the world around them.
- Helps develop a longer attention span.
- Fosters a love of reading.
- Strengthens the bond between the reader and child.
- Improves language skills, preparing a child for school.
- Exposes children to story structure and problem solving
- Stimulates the imagination.
- Fairy Tales and fantasy fiction can feed a child’s already active imagination.
- Reading aloud opens the door for communicating and expressing emotions by exploring characters and the challenges they face.
Tips For Reading Aloud
When reading aloud to a 3 to 5-year–old, aim for 5 to 10 minutes of story time and use books with a limited amount of words per page or 2 to 3 sentences. You can always increase this as your child’s tastes and attention span changes.
- Pre-read that books you choose to be sure it is appropriate, conveys a message you are willing to explore, and would be of interest to your child.
- While reading, make eye contact with your child, vary your voice intonations and use facial expressions. Have fun!
- Have your child sit close to you so they can clearly see, touch and hear the story.
- Ask you child questions about the story and characters as you read, but don’t insist they answer! Only do this if it is fun for your child.
Baby and Toddler: Interest in books and being read to at this age varies. Some babies and toddlers will sit and listen while others will simply want to practice turning the pages or tasting the book. If your child doesn’t want to listen to a story yet, don’t force him. Get in the habit of sitting for a few minutes each day with him and letting him explore books however he wishes. Lift the flap and touch and feel books are great for engaging a young child’s interest.
- Sandra Boynton’s board books are well loved by toddlers for their silly song like quality and amusing illustrations. Some favorites: Hippos’ Go Berserk, Snuggle Puppy
- Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond
- Puppies Usborne Touchy Feely
Preschool : This age group is full of questions and curiosity and will enjoy a wide range of reading activities. Alphabet and counting books are great for teaching these basic skills, and preschoolers will usually enjoy the practice. Joke books and silly stories are also a favorite among this age group as they are beginning to understand and develop their own sense of humor. Highlighted below are some favorite books by classic authors. Explore all of the titles from your child's favorite.
- Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McClosky
- Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
- Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?
- Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman This is fun read aloud as well as a great beginning readers book.
- If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff
- Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett
- Skippy Jon Jones by Judy Schachner
Kindergarten –2nd Grade Consider reading chapter books to your child at this age. Read one chapter per day (or more) acccording to your child's interest. Talk about what is going on in the story and encourage your child to predict what will happen next. Be sure to do a quick review at the beginning of each reading session. Encourage you child to review with you, by asking simple questions to jog their memory.
- Stuart Little by E.B. White Look for the special read aloud edition. It is large and sturdy with beautiful illustrations.
- The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting Your child will love this hilarious chapter book about a doctor and his animal adventures.
- My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett This Newberry Honor Book with take you on a thrilling adventure filled with laughter.
- Peter Rabbit's Storytime Collection by Beatrix Potter
- Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mike Teague (picture book)
- Author and illustrator Jim Arnosky has created a collection of beautiful, simple books about animals. Look for his titles at any library.
- Animals, Animals by Eric Carle
- Jim Herriot's Treasury for Children Follow this country veternarian on his adventures in caring for and learning about animals. Beautifully written stories that will nuture you child's love of animals.
Math: Explore simple math concepts with the MathStart Series by Stuart J. Murphy. Monster Musical Chairs explores the concept of subtracting by one.
Christian Children’s Books: My personal favorites are the works of Max Lucado. His books are full of encouragement and emphasize the value of being yourself, exactly how God created you. His series about the Wemmick’s aid in understanding the Creator and His children. His titles will appeal to all age groups and some are published as board books, for the youngest listeners. My personal favorite is a story of love and acceptance, called Just In Case You Ever Wonder.
Special topics: Look for books that will help your child understand a difficult situation, like being bullied at school, losing a loved one or pet or having to go to the doctor. There is a book to help your child through just about any issue. Reading together will help open the doors of communication between you and your child. Here is one example:
- The Hundred Dresses By Eleanor Estes This Newberry Award winner is a story about one girl being left out socially and treated as an outcast by her classmates. The message is powerful and encourages understanding, compassion and forgiveness.