10 Reading Aloud Dos and Don’ts
Reading aloud provides many different opportunities and benefits for young children, from building vocabulary to improving reading fluency.
Here are some simple tips and tricks for reading aloud with your child. You can also try programmes like Reading Eggs, which make learning to read easy and fun! Sign up now for your free trial and unlock instant access to hundreds of online lessons and over 3000 e‑books, including read aloud options for toddlers.
1. Do try and read to your child every day
This is the best practice your child can get to help them become a fluent reader.
2. Don't choose books that are too easy or difficult for your child
If a book seems too difficult or easy, don't be afraid to stop and change books.
3. Do find somewhere away from distractions where you can read aloud to your child
Make sure they are comfortable but not too comfortable – lying down may make them more inclined to fall asleep than listen.
4. Don't start reading if you don't have enough time
Make sure you dedicate enough time to discuss the story with your child, and to answer and ask questions.
5. Do make an effort to read aloud with lots of expression and animation
Alter your tone to suit the words on the page, make facial expressions to emphasise emotions and use hand gestures to add life to the story.
6. Don't choose books that are heavy in dialogue
These kinds of books are often the most difficult to read aloud and listen to.
7. Do finish a book once you start it
Don't start a new book and leave your child wondering what happens. If you don't finish a book in one reading session, try and leave off at a point in the story that will keep your child looking forward to what happens next.
8. Don't read books that your child will not be interested in
Try and choose books that they will look forward to reading.
9. Do read your child's favourite stories over again
Children learn sounds and words through repetition, so reading a story multiple times will help commit these to memory.
10. Don't impose thoughts, opinions and interpretations of the book onto your child
Instead, ask questions and let them make their own mind up about a story.