Basic Reading Aloud Tips
1. Read slowly and clearly
This is the most basic rule of all when it comes to reading to children. When you read in a hurry – poof! – you would immediately lose your most important audience.
2. Pronounce words to depict meaning
Children can derive the meaning of a word just by the way that you read it. When you encounter the word high, use a sing-song voice, for low, use a deep, growly voice, for silent, use a quiet voice. Easy peasy!
3. Wear a costume
Reading about a witch? Put on a witch’s hat and watch magic happen! Our costume box is also full of ribbons, gowns, and discarded clothing that are just perfect for getting into the mood of a story.
4. Assign voices to characters
Children love silly voices. It will immediately capture their imagination when you use a unique voice for each character in the book that you are reading. This is so great especially for long chapter books like Winnie-the-Pooh. I myself can get lost trying to read long passages. Trying to remember that Piglet says Chwistophew Wobin and that Eeyore t-a-a-alks v-e-e-e-e-ery sl-o-o-o-owly keeps me on my toes!
5. Read as if the book were a script
If you’ve read a book at least five times, chances are your child would have memorized some parts already. Let her say her lines! When your child is reading already, no matter how slowly, you can take turns reading. This is good reading practice that makes your child more involved too. When she gets tired or gives up, carry on. You don’t have to do this for the whole length of a book.
6. Act out some scenes
Look for action words that you and your child can do. When a character tiptoes, ask your child, can you tiptoe like him? Or, oh! he leaned over the window, can we do that too? One of the most memorable things that we did was to pretend to be an acrobat when we read The Runaway Bunny. A year or so after doing it, my daughter still finds it fascinating to “balance” on a tile line and pretend that she’s an acrobat.