3 tips to encourage a read aloud routine with your kids

What will you be doing on February 24? Will you be joining millions of people in over 100 countries for World Read Aloud Day (WRAD)? WRAD is an initiative developed by LitWorld to inspire readers across the globe. With literacy being a key factor in determining lifelong success in children worldwide, organizations such as Mass Literacy have joined LitWorld to help share information about the importance of reading aloud.

With only two days left until WRAD, here are 3 tips to encourage a read aloud routine on World Read Aloud Day and every day:

1. The 3 B’s

Make bath, book and bed the trifecta of your nightly routine. Many psychologists claim it takes 21 days to form a habit. Why not start today? And in about three weeks, reading aloud with your child can become a part of your daily routine that you truly look forward to. When your child is settled in bed and winding down after a busy day, sharing a story can be a bonding and relaxing experience for you both. Keep a chapter book as well as some shorter picture books on the nightstand for those days when you only have time for a quick story.

2. Love your Library

The local library is the perfect place to motivate and inspire even the most reluctant reader. Is your child into dinosaurs? Trucks? Fairies? A quick search in the library database will uncover scores of titles for any topic your child is fascinated with this month. In addition to choosing some favorite books to borrow, libraries often offer their own read aloud programs, puppet shows, play groups, hobby clubs, museum passes and more.

3. Don’t Overthink It

As an educator, parents often voice their read aloud concerns to me because they are afraid of “doing it wrong.” The great news is, there IS no wrong way! Don’t overthink it. Have fun with the stories you read aloud to your children. Use different voices for characters; avoid assessing your child’s comprehension too often; have your child chime in on repetitive parts or guess what will happen in the next chapter. The more fun you have reading the story, the more enjoyable it will be for you and your child –and the more priceless memories you will make as you help instill in them a love of reading.

Maureen Manning is the Director of Family and Community Engagement in Wareham, MA and a Mass Literacy Champion.

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