World Read Aloud Day 2014

Reading aloud to children is so important. It will help build the foundation of literacy for their entire lives. There is a plethora of information available that describes exactly how and why world-read-aloud-day-2014reading aloud to our children is important. With all our knowledge we still find it difficult to sit down and read to our children. Some of that is due to the busy lives we lead as well as the distraction of television, computers and other electronics. I believe a bigger part is that we simply don’t know how to read aloud to our children.

I didn’t say we don’t know how to read. Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to read. We just don’t know how to read aloud to our children in a fun, exciting way. We choose the wrong times and the wrong books on top of that. Our infants fall asleep/get mesmerized by the ceiling fan/cry during a book, so we get discouraged. Our toddlers would rather shred the beautiful pages, throw the book, use it as a stool and anything other than sit nicely and listen. Preschoolers ask so many questions we just want to scream. It’s not the easiest thing so start early and often to get a good routine down.

I have many fond memories of reading with my grandma. She would do the best voices and kept a great rhythm throughout the whole book. It was magical every single time. It was never boring because she took it seriously. Take your responsibility seriously and be energetic when you read to your child! You can use puppets and props too. We love the flannel board at our house. I like to make printable characters from the book that the children can play with or even use to participate in the story. I love this one from The Mitten. There are a lot of these available. You can do an Internet search for your child’s favorite book and easily find printables to go along with it. Bottom line: make it interesting. Don’t use a monotone voice. Remember that while it seems boring or repetitive to you, reading to your child will be a determining factor in the success of their education. Reading to your child will never be wasted time.

Make sure to pick the right time of day to read to your child. It’s a tradition of childhood to be read a bedtime store but perhaps that isn’t a good time for you or your child. By the time bedtime rolls around, I’m pretty tired and so are my kids. We usually read one short and easy story. I don’t have the patience to read something long or complicated so I don’t blame you if you don’t either. Try reading in the morning before the day gets started. Toddlers do really great at snack or lunch time. Preschoolers enjoy a book after being physically active. I usually read to my son before his rest time.

Choosing the right books can be tricky. Our library has a great list of 100 books every child should read. Observe what interests your child then go find a book that lines up with that interest. We began frequenting the non-fiction children’s area when my son became interested in construction vehicles at about 18 months. The books are surprisingly appropriate for little ones with big interests. Infants love books with black and white pictures and fun textures. Board books are perfect for toddlers. I also like interactive books like From Head To Toe and My Daddy Is a Pretzel. These allow for a successful story time because physical activity is encouraged rather than discouraged. Bring your preschooler along to choose a book, whether you go to the bookstore or library. It will be a learning experience for everyone.

If reading aloud to your child on a daily basis sounds daunting then give yourself a few days and come up with a plan to celebrate World Read Aloud Day 2014 on Wednesday, March 5. On this day, make it your goal to read aloud to your child every single day. Start by attending the World Read Aloud Day event at The Rochester Hills Public Library between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. on March 5. What better way to ring in the new reading year by watching local high school students do dramatic readings of children’s books? Sounds like a great time. While you’re there, check out a few books for your child and yourself. If you don’t have a library card then make sure to speak with a librarian so you can get one.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t currently read aloud to child each day. Life gets in the way and can get so busy. Make sure to pencil in some time for you, your child and a great book.


About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at

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