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Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Benefits of Reading Aloud: How Storytime Can Teach Early Literacy

Reading aloud with your child has a ton of benefits. Some developmental experts even suggest that it sets them up for success later in life. Among other things, reading aloud can help improve vocabulary, encourage empathy, and aid in social and emotional development. It can also help prepare them to tackle reading by themselves. I Can Read books are the perfect storytime picks to give early readers a jumpstart. Here are just a few ways in which books can teach early literacy:

Reading aloud shows kids how books work. Before a child can learn how to read, they have to understand how books work. Reading physical books aloud to your child helps them identify the front and back of a book, as well as which way is right side up and which way is upside down. One of the perks of picture books is that it’s easier for a child to identify the “right” side up when they see a picture. Books like Animal Babies Like to Play that incorporate images of letters into the pictures can be especially beneficial because they help children recognize which way letters are supposed to go. We also love The Good Egg, which reiterates that no one should put too much pressure on themselves — about reading or about anything else!

Books aid in letter and word identification. If you choose stories that are age and reading-level appropriate, you could even suggest that your child try reading aloud to you. One of the exciting things about I Can Read books is that they incorporate a few of our favorite characters into books that early readers will be able to read all on their own. If you’ve read Fox and the Jumping Contest aloud to your child, you could have them try reading Fox the Tiger out loud to you. If they love Fancy Nancy, you could read Oodles of Kittens to them, and then have them give a Fancy Nancy I Can Read! book a try. Books like these are ideal for kids who are just starting to sound out words and great choices for a shared storytime.

Storytime can help children build up their attention span. Attention spans are like muscles: they build up over time, and practice helps strengthen them. According to developmental experts, a 5- or 6-year-old typically has the ability to focus on a task for 10 to 15 minutes. Like many other things, practice makes perfect, so incorporating a daily storytime with your child into each day will help build up their focus. If you notice their attention on the books is starting to wane, you could switch tactics and suggest they do an activity related to the book. You can find a bunch of downloadables and activities to accompany storytime here.

What are some of your favorite books to read aloud at storytime? We’d love to know. And if you are interested in learning how you can identify the first steps of reading, here are five signs!