ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reading to Your Children - Tips, Reasons, & Book Choices

Updated on February 26, 2008

Why read to your children?

When parents spend time reading to their children, they are teaching good habits and a love for books. The special time you spend together on a daily basis will help your family grow closer together. As well, research has shown that reading to your children helps them develop good reading, writing, and comprehension skills.

I remember getting a story before bedtime, and this tradition later turned into reading on my own each night before it was “lights out” time. Between being read to and reading on my own, I developed an expansive vocabulary, testing at a tenth grade reading level while in the fifth grade. Babies and children learn a lot about language simply by listening to the people around them. By reading to them, you help them learn the different styles of sentence construction that you might not use in regular, everyday speaking.

Find Children's Books on Amazon

It’s never too early to start reading.

You can start reading to your children as babies. Choose sturdy books that your baby can hold and look at herself. Paper isn’t a good idea, unless you want it ripped or ending up in baby’s mouth. Books with different textures and peek-a-boo flaps encourage your baby to reach out to feel the book. While reading the story, point out and describe the pictures. If your baby doesn’t appear interested in your reading, try singing the words instead of reading them. When I worked as a nanny, I used to make sound effects and take on the voices of different characters.

As your babies grow into young children, introduce them to other picture books. Children between the ages of three and six years old will still enjoy picture books, but choose ones that tell a complete story. While reading to your children, let them take time examining the pictures. Ask them to identify where certain things are in the story: “Can you find the red balloon?” This will make reading more of a fun, interactive experience. If your child requests that you reread certain book over and over, ask her to read it to you. She will have an idea of the story, and you will enjoy listening to her version.

Moving on to longer stories: chapter books.

As your children get older, you might want to establish of pattern of reading them every night before bed. Instead of reading a few short books, try introducing some chapter books. You can read one or two chapters each night. Starting at the age of seven, your children will probably start learning how to read at school. Encourage them to read on their own at times, but continue reading to them. This teaches children that reading can be a fun, rewarding, family experience.

Reading together allows you to share special time and great stories.

How to choose chapter books for your children.

Choosing age appropriate books for your children is as important as monitoring the television and movies you allow them to watch. There are a lot of wonderful books out there, but what may be a great book for a twelve year old probably won’t be for a nine year old. As well, remember that just because a book is popular doesn’t mean you have to read them to your kids if they aren’t old enough for these particular books.

Newer books are great, but also reach out to the classics. Maybe you have some books that you remember from your childhood—this is the perfect time to share those memories with your children. You can also choose chapter books that are a series.

Some Book Suggestions

There are tons of fabulous books out there, but I’m going to share some of my childhood favorites:

Little House on the Prairie This series, beginning with Little House in the Big Woods, is the life story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a girl who travelled with her family out west in a covered wagon. Based on her real life experiences, Wilder’s stories provide an entertaining glimpse into history, and also provides stories about working hard and family values.

The Indian in the Cupboard This series of books all begins when a boy, Omri, discovers a cupboard that brings his toys to life. The adventures throughout these books show the strengthening relationship between Omri and an Indian (Native American) out of the past. Cultures collide, but they learn to love and respect each other.

The Chronicles of Narnia Allow C.S. Lewis to take you into a different world with this delightful series. It all begins in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when you Lucy Pevensie discovers a magical wardrobe that leads into another world. The series tells the story of this world, from the day it began to the day it ends. You can read the books in the order they were written, or chronologically. Either way, they are magical, adventure stories.

Whatever you choose to read, have fun and enjoy the special time you will share with your family.

Do you have some family favorites you would like to share? Please leave a comment in the box below.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JerseyGirl profile image


      10 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I liked your hub a lot. If more parents were geared towards teaching their children to read, and HOW to read, this world would be a better and smarter one.

      Thank you for sharing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)