As parents our job is to teach our little ones how to walk, be safe, to talk, to act and the list goes on! But it’s also our job to show them the world of opportunities that lay ahead of them and what better way to show them the places they can go by reading about them!

Even when your little one cannot read themselves, the benefits of being read to are significant, so it’s never too early to start reading to your child. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re little one seems uninterested. So here are 5 tips to help read aloud to your small children.

“From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened you discover you have wings.”-Helen Hayes

Engagement

Little ones are squirmy with short attention spans so choose books that help them be a part of the story. Look for multi-sensory books to keep kids engaged for longer than 30 seconds:

  • Lift-a-flap books
  • Sing alongs
  • Buttons

(Or see this best interactive books for kids list)

Repetition

Whether you choose a book that has repetition or you like to read a single story over and over again, repetition is great for little ones to feel like an independent reader. They’ll soon recognize words, sounds and pictures and become confident reading experience.

Off Script

Don’t be afraid to go “off script” when reading aloud! You can point out other parts of the story or images or ask your little one questions about what is happening in the book. This encourages deeper thinking and imagination. Besides, if you have a little one they are already asking a million questions about everything anyway!

The “right” books

If your child seems uninterested it might not be the fact that you’re reading but what you’re reading. Choosing the appropriate age book and genre are just as important to a 2 year old as a 12 year old. So if you have a little one that loves dinosaurs or dancing or whatever thing they’re obsessed about right now, lean into it!

Tip: The library is a great place to find new books without breaking the bank.

Still not sure what books to pick? Check out this curated book list for 1 year olds to help you find the perfect book to read aloud.

Routine

If you make it a habit of reading aloud to your child then it will get easier for the both of you. So find a few minutes that work best in your schedule to intentionally read together. Remember, a few minutes reading aloud can make a big impact so don’t stress on the amount of time but focus on the quality of time.

For example, if mornings are hectic then try a story time after afternoon nap or if the bedtime routine is already 2 hours long, you can have breakfast with an entertaining book.

The fact that you’re trying to read to your little one is already a huge success, even if it feels like a chore or wrangling an alligator to do so, so take encouragement from that! Hopefully these 5 read aloud tips for little ones helps you in the journey of creating a reader.